Tips for Teens

The same tips for kids, applies to teens with added precautions because of their age and lifestyle. When using your mobile device on a social networking site, remember mobile phones can be easily lost or stolen and anyone can get your information and pretend to be you. Placing a PIN lock on your mobile is a good deterrent. Report the loss or stolen device to your mobile provider and have service suspended.

Register your real age with social networking sites and if you intend to share your personal information, there are several things you should consider first. You are no longer in control of who sees your personal information. Sharing personal information may lead to things, consequences, which you did not foresee or intend to happen. Be extra cautious when sharing photographs or images of yourself. It is vital that you control and manage your online reputation, your information and pictures of yourself can be altered and changed and not necessarily in a positive or flattering way.

Once you go public, strangers will be able to see your content and search and find you online. Social networking sites have private settings; it is strongly recommended that you use them. Uploading content online to include images, videos and music, but again, there are safety precautions that should be in place. The web is available to everyone and your profile is public. Also be aware of how your content can be used, transmitted, altered, changed and sold, all without your consent or knowledge.

Guarding your online reputation is paramount. Young people have their entire life ahead of them, and it should be full of positive and creative friendships and experiences and should not be darkened by the potential misrepresentation of their true inner personality. Information you post will reflect the kind of person you are. Others may try to manipulate that and use it against you. Think carefully before uploading content or sharing information that shows you or your friends in a compromising situation. Do not post images of yourself posing in a sexually provocative manner. Protect your family and protect your friends by securing their consent prior to uploading any information or images of them. Understand that you are not anonymous online. You can be traced even if you give a fake email account and registration information. Every computer and device connected to the Internet has a unique address. It is called an IP and your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is linked to your computer in the real and very wide world your address. The police and justice officials have access to this address, and it is linked to every communication you send online.

Consider your family and your friends. Try not to bring disgrace, discomfort or harm to your family and friends by posting information that can be misconstrued, taken out of context or alter their image. What may be funny to you may not be to someone you love and care about. Do not place information on the web or in shared networking sites that are disgraceful, biased based, hateful or hurtful to other people. Remember to be a good person, good son or daughter and good friend. If you notice people around you behaving in an inappropriate manner, remind them that they are not anonymous and their actions can be traced.

Arranging to meet someone that you have met on line is dangerous and should only take place with parental or guardian approval and supervision. When someone's behavior on line makes you fell uncomfortable, is dangerous or scares you, inform your parents, guardian, or an adult you trust, and call your local law enforcement agency.

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