Online Safety Tips for Teens
While social networking sites can increase circle of friends, The Federal Trade Commission is urging Teens/kids not to post information about themselves online that they don’t want the whole world to know.
Here are some tips Kids can do to socialize safely online:
- Think about how different sites work before deciding to join a site. Some sites will allow only a defined community of users to access posted content; others allow anyone and everyone to view postings.
- Think about keeping some control over the information you post.
- Consider restricting access to your page to a select group of people, for example, your friends from school, your club, your team, your community groups, or your family.
- Keep your information to yourself. Don’t post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers.
- Make sure your screen name doesn’t say too much about you. Don’t use your name, your age, or your hometown.
- Post only information that you are comfortable with others seeing — and knowing — about you.
- Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.
- Consider not posting your photo. It can be altered and broadcast in ways you may not be happy about.
- Flirting with strangers online could have serious consequences. Because some people lie about who they really are, you never really know who you’re dealing with.
- Be wary if a new online friend wants to meet you in person. Before you decide to meet someone, do your research.
- Trust your gut if you have suspicions. If you feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online, tell an adult you trust and report it to the police and the social networking site.