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Social Media Safety For Teens

Social Media Safety For Teens

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Keeping Teens Safe Online Doesn’t Require Stifling Overprotection

Internet safety for children depends on parents being aware of online dangers and understanding how to help their children and teenagers avoid them.

Almost every American child and teenager has access to the Internet. They socialize in online games or on smartphones as they would on the playground. They mostly live in the digital community. But like any community, there are risks and dangers.

Parents are best suited to monitor children’s online activity. They are also the most trusted adults most children will turn to if they experience threats online. Understanding what your children or young people do online is key to protecting them from digital threats.

According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45 percent of teens say they are online “almost constantly,” according to the Pew Research Center.

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Even young children are accessing the Internet in large numbers. About two-thirds of fourth- through eighth-grade students have access to a phone or tablet. And nearly half of them have a computer in their bedroom, according to a 2016 study of children’s Internet use by the Center for Cyber ​​Safety and Education.

Teaching your children about the online dangers they may face and how to avoid or report threats is an important step you can take to ensure their online safety.

But first, you should understand these risks for yourself. This means staying up-to-date on the latest technologies, apps and social media trends. It can be difficult, but it prepares you to talk to your kids about what to expect online.

Social Media Safety For Teens

You will also need to have an open dialogue with your children. Let them know you are looking out for them and be sure to listen to their questions and concerns.

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An open conversation can help them feel comfortable talking to you even about uncomfortable things they later encounter online. It will also help you better understand how your children use the Internet.

Let kids know they can talk to their parents, teachers, or other trusted adults when they come across content online that makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.

Setting clearly defined rules and explaining the reason for each rule and the safeguards against it can help your child understand the potential risks. Rules for your child should aim to protect privacy, safety and personal information online.

You may ask your child or teen to sign an online safety agreement. The agreement can be an opportunity to teach your child about online dangers and how to respond to them. Agreements can also jump-start conversations about the limits you want to set for the way your child uses the Internet.

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Keep the conversation open and ongoing as your child grows up with the promise of more rights and responsibilities as he grows.

You can play an active role in protecting your children from online threats. Mostly it is monitoring how they use the internet and how they access it. Some of this can be as simple as helping them establish an online presence.

When you give your child a smartphone or tablet for the first time, use it as a learning opportunity. Show your child how to set strong passwords and set new rules about who can and can’t download apps. You may want to limit it to yourself until your child grows up.

Social Media Safety For Teens

Also make sure that your children do not open any social media accounts or download social media apps until they are at least 13 years old. This is not just a safety tip, it is the law. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was passed in 1998 to protect children’s online privacy.

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Make it clear that you will monitor their online activity, track their browsing history and keep a copy of their passwords. Spying on your children’s online activity without telling them first can damage their trust in you.

You can find technology that will help you monitor what your child sees on the Internet, filter inappropriate web content and track what your child does online. There is a wide selection of options from software that you can purchase to features built into your internet browser.

But remember that these are only additional tools. They will not replace open communication between you and your child.

You can track the websites your kids visit online by checking their browsing history. The browser keeps a list of the sites that have been visited. Go to the browser on their computer or phone and click on “History” to see a list of sites that have been visited.

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Be aware that your children can delete their browser history. If this happens, it could be a sign they have visited a site they shouldn’t have. This should be part of your discussion when you set rules with your child.

New apps, like the iPhone’s Screen Time, allow you to set a time limit that your child or teen can access a specific app each day.

Filters can limit which Internet sites and content your children can see online. They are designed to eliminate inappropriate content.

Social Media Safety For Teens

Contact the company that provides your Internet service to ask about any Internet filters it provides. They allow you to control what different devices can see on the Internet.

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Enable “Safe Search” in Google Search and Google Photos on your kids’ devices. This will filter out most, but not all, adult and other inappropriate search results.

Beyond these options, you can purchase and install parental control software. Some can be placed on individual devices while others can create filters for all devices on your home network. Prices range from about $15 to $100.

You can also find parental control apps designed specifically for your child’s phone or tablet. Just look for them where you download apps. Prices for these can range from $10 to $30. They can set restrictions on what your kids use, track their smartphone browsing and prevent them from changing passwords without your permission.

Your child’s first smartphone is another opportunity to discuss online safety. But smartphones also come with inherent risks.

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Make sure your children understand that a smartphone is personal and that no one else should use it. Sharing their phone can expose private information or allow someone to impersonate them online. Tell your children how it can damage their reputation if someone sends or posts inappropriate texts, comments or photos.

They also talk about the long-term damage to their reputations some momentary comments or photos once they are posted online. Teach them to think carefully about how others see or interpret their posts.

As you would with a family computer, discuss guidelines for your child’s first smartphone and its unique risks.

Social Media Safety For Teens

Help your child set up password protection before using the phone. This will prevent anyone other than you and your child from using it or accessing the personal information stored on it.

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Making sure the phone is always running on the latest operating system will ensure it has the latest security fixes.

GPS can give your child’s location when posting online from the phone. Before buying a phone, ask how to disable location services for photos and other posts while still using GPS for maps.

Make sure your kids understand the importance of disconnecting from their smartphones. Constant screen time can disrupt sleep patterns and their attention to what’s going on around them.

Let them know that being on their phone when around other people can be awkward. Putting the phone away during a meal, in the car or when hanging out with friends shows respect for those around them.

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A smartphone can be a good starting point for teaching teen driving safety when your teen starts driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed 3,166 people in 2017. Texting has been an increasing cause of accidents related to distracted driving.

Download apps that block texting and talking in the car. Many allow you to decide which other apps will work while the car is in motion.

Understanding social media sites can help your teen understand the content and connections they’re exposed to over and over again. Following or friending your teen on these sites can help you keep track of their social media activity.

Social Media Safety For Teens

According to a Pew Research Center survey, virtually every American teenager uses some form of social media.

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Young people credit social media for making new friends, strengthening existing friendships and exposing them to an increasingly diverse world. According to the Pew Research Center, 31 percent of teenagers have a mostly positive view of social media.

At the same time, the center says that young people worry that social media adds drama to their lives and that they feel they are under more social pressure.

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