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How to help teens stay safe online

 

We all think we know about the dangers of the internet, sexting, bullying, cyber crime. There are lots of articles and apps that help us keep younger children safe. Many tablet manufacturers are including parental controls with child profiles. Amazons Fire tablet is a good example and How To Geek have just written a great blog about the best way to utilise these features here.

teenager comp

But what about teenagers? Due to them being secretive by nature with adults and the propensity to be just a little bit stroppy, they are arguably more at risk as than their younger siblings.

What a teen does on line now can affect uni offers and even job prospects later in life. So how do we help today’s young people stay safe while still making the most of all technology has to offer?

One in five UK employers now admits to using social networking sites to research job candidates, while almost a third (29 per cent) of US university staff regularly Google students as part of their applications process.

We have to talk with our teenagers about this, they may not want to listen but we have to try!

 

Post sensibly

Only ever post something you would be happy to say to someone’s face.

Try not to post when you are angry/upset/drunk – it never ends well!

If it is none of your business, leave it alone.

 

Be Safe

Ok it’s embarrassing but talk to teenagers calmly about sexting, trolling, and bullying.

Help them decide what privacy settings they need on all of the platforms they use. Do they really want the whole of the web seeing their Facebook posts?

Look at strategies for dealing with issues like sexting. In 2013, ChildLine launched Zipit, a free app to help teenagers refuse requests for explicit images of themselves by offering a choice of witty responses instead.

 

Keep it real

Above all keep a sense of humour and perspective. Good luck!

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