The internet can be a very dangerous place. Here are a few simple rules for your teen to stay safe while he surfs the net.
In today's world, the internet has become indispensable. Adults use it for their work while teens use it for finding information related to school and college
projects. The internet can also be used for leisure. Your teen probably
spends hours on the internet, looking for things that interest him.
This includes chatting and gaming.
However, the internet can also be a very dangerous place at times.
There are plenty of people who will try to take advantage of an
innocent person. Read on for some basic guidelines for your teen to stay safe and still enjoy his online experience.
Do Not Believe Everything You Read Online
From a young age, your teen has always been told that honesty is the
best policy. However, when it comes to the internet, this saying flies
out of the window. Your teen should not take everything he reads or
sees at face value. This is especially true if he visits chat rooms. In
most chat rooms, he will be interacting with unknown people.
The internet offers people a chance to pretend to be someone
else. This includes unscrupulous people as well. Your teen does not
know if the person claiming to be seventeen, five feet five inches,
slim, and female actually exists. In reality, he could be chatting with
someone who is forty-five, six feet three inches, obese, and male. Some
people disguise their identity just for kicks. However, criminals like
paedophiles will often disguise their identities online, in order to
lure unsuspecting victims.
Be Wary of People Who Ask Personal Questions
Most of the time, an online chat or discussion will involve discussing
a favourite movie or similar non-invasive subjects. Sometimes, the
topics may take on a personal turn. Your teen should always keep his
personal information private. This includes information like what his last name is, where he lives, his telephone or mobile phone number, etc.
If your teen gives out his personal information in cyberspace, he has no way of knowing how the information can be used against him. Criminals lurk online, looking for ways to trick people into parting with their personal information. They can then use this information to steal his identity
or perpetrate frauds in his name. Your teen must always be on his guard
and never give out any of his details, especially to strangers. If his
chat partner insists on knowing certain details, he should leave the
Use the 'Buddy System'
Sometimes, your teen will decide to meet up with an online friend in
person. If your teen is considering this option, he should follow a
buddy system. This involves taking along a friend or relative to the
meeting. The idea behind this is that at no time should your teen be
left alone with an unknown person.
If an online
friend asks your teen if they can meet, he should clarify it with you
before he gives the person a reply. If you approve of the meeting, your
teen should let this individual know that he is planning to bring his
parents or friends. Your teen should encourage his online friend to
bring his parents along too. Your teen may argue that this is a foolish
idea, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If your teen's online
acquaintance is who he says he is, there should not be any problem with
you meeting him. Make it very clear to your teen that under no
circumstances is he supposed to meet someone by himself.
Your teen should always select a meeting place which has a lot of
people. Meetings must always be held in public areas like malls, cafes,
etc. This will ensure that your teen remains in a safe setting. Also,
make it a point to have your teen meet his friend during daylight
hours. No matter how much your teen protests make it clear to him that
he must abide by these rules.
Your teen deserves to have a safe web experience. By following these tips, he can protect himself from those who seek to cheat or harm him.
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