Social Web Tips for Teens
Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if my parents or teachers saw this post?” If the thought makes you gasp, then you know for sure that it is not something to post.
Read between the “lines.” It may be fun to check out new people for friendship or romance, but be aware that, while some people are nice, others act nice because they’re trying to get something. Flattering or supportive messages may be more about manipulation than friendship or romance.
Avoid in-person meetings. The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet them in person. If you really have to get together with someone you “met” online, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell a parent or some other solid backup, and bring some friends along.
Be smart when using a cell phone. All the same tips apply with phones as with computers. Except phones are with you wherever you are, often away from home and your usual support systems. Be careful who you give your number to and how you use GPS and other technologies that can pinpoint your physical location.
Cyberbullying is real. Cyberbullying happens when you are tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. If this happening to you, tell your parents or a teacher or get help by visiting http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html.
The trail. What you post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat, etc., can be with you long after you upload. Employers, college admissions officers, coaches, teachers, and the police may view your post so be smart about the trail you are leaving.
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