JULY 31, 2022
Typical social media sites, Source Flickr, Author Automotive Social
(CC BY 2.0 Generic)
The following safety tips were supplied by a child advocacy center all too familiar with child abuse in its many forms. Please, discuss them with the teens in your life.
Never share your personal information with others online unless you already know them offline, and they have good reason for needing to know.
Before sharing the following information with ANYONE, always check with a trusted adult first: last name, address, phone number, date of birth, school name, social security number, passwords.
Many social networking websites (e.g. Facebook/Meta, Twitter, and Instagram) have minimum age requirements for signing up. These requirements are there to protect you! Never accept a “friend request” from someone you do not already know offline. Again, never share personal information with others.
Remember that not everything you read online is true. Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be who they are not. Never meet anyone in person that you have only met on the internet. Rape and sex trafficking are real dangers. Predators can rarely be identified from their appearance.
Never post photos online that show you in a negative light. Always check with a trusted adult, if you are unsure whether the photos you plan to post are appropriate.
Be mindful that everything you share with others has the potential to be distributed to unintended parties. Sexting and nude content have the potential to end up widely available on the internet.
If you are found with nude photos or videos of someone underage, you can be charged with child pornography, yourself.
Be mindful of things you say online. Even if you delete content from a webpage, social media, blog, etc. it will remain somewhere on the internet forever. Employers may check your internet “footprint” in years to come, and find inappropriate content that could ruin your future plans.
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