Swipe Right to Safety
Teenagers nowadays are accessing the internet more than any of their previous generations. From social media and education to online games, the internet has a plethora of entertainment to offer and teens are taking full advantage of it.
However, it is important to remember that it is essential to keep your safety in check while surfing online. Not only are you under the threat of viruses, hackers and spammers, but there are also online predators who will just about pounce on any teen in the digital world.
Nevertheless, with a little smartness, you can avoid becoming a victim of the dark side of the internet.
Keep Your Identity a Secret
The rule of thumb you need to follow is simple: Never give out any personal information online. Even small clues like your neighborhood or which school you attend are enough for predators to track you down. Will you tell a stranger at the mall where you live? Then don’t tell coolgal96 or reallyniceguy47 either.
Keep a Check on What You Post
No matter how massive the internet may seem, it has a great memory that doesn’t go away. So make sure that you don’t post any embarrassing, risqué pictures, or rude comments. Keep the same behavior you keep offline. Don’t try to act like someone you’re not just to act cool; as these things can be used against you. Your college admission and future job, included.
Never Meet Anyone in Person Unless You Are Absolutely Sure About Them
“Never meet anyone in person that you meet online,” says the FBI. However, in our ever expanding world, it is possible to meet good people online and teenagers do end up making genuine friends with people they’ve never met. So if you are absolutely sure about someone, you may meet them in person. But make sure to have some extra security with you. Meet them in a public place and bring a responsible adult along. You can even ask the adult to sit at a distance and overlook the meeting if that makes you comfortable, but don’t meet anyone new alone.
Remember That Your Parents Are Still Responsible For You
Your parents may not have sufficient knowledge about the internet and may not surf it as often as you do. However, they are still responsible for you as a minor, and if anything goes wrong, they’ll be held accountable for it as well. So make sure they are aware of what kind of websites you visit and what kind of content you consume. You don’t have to give them all the details, but they should have a general idea of your activities. In case of an emergency, this could be futile in returning you to safety.
We may think we know someone based on their comments or internet personality.. but do you really know anyone these days?
Until next week,