Talk to your kids.
Discuss cell phone activities with your kids, making sure they understand the consequences of their actions… any photos or messages sent are NOT truly private or anonymous. All photos or messages may be intercepted and forward to hundreds of people within minutes! Even the most secure of sites may be defaced or sabotaged. School administrators, college admissions and even future employers may view online profiles developing harsh judgments about your child.
Who is your child communicating with?
Monitor your child’s cyberspace activities. Know who your child’s friends are. Understand that unknown predators may be luring your child into some dishonest activity. And mostly understand that the acquaintances your child keeps with on line communication may not serve the best interest of your child. You could learn about your child and their friends through knowing whom your child is talking to.
Nearly one in five young people who send sexually suggestive messages and images, do so to people they only know online. It is important to remember that even if someone only knows you by screen name, through online profiles, phone numbers or email addresses, they can probably find you. AND…What is preventing them from sending those images to all your child’s friends listed in their social networking profiles? It is much too easy for strangers or friends of friends to become involved with illicit photos.
- My Space and Facebook provide two of the most accessible and largest online social networking websites. Information posted may be public for the world to see.
- Inform your child about these sites regarding the dangers of social networking.
No Undo in cyberspace.
- It is nearly impossible to control what other people post about you. If you delete a photo, it may have already been copied and reposted by another person.
- Discuss with your kids the responsibility and effects concerning bad cyberspace judgment. This can harm themselves, their friends and family with such communications.
- More than 40% of teens and young adults (42% total, 47% of teens, 38% of young adults) say “pressure from guys” is a reason girls and women send and post sexually suggestive messages and images.
- More than 20% of teens and young adults (22% total, 24% teens, 20% young adults) say “pressure from friends” is a reason guys send and post sexually suggestive messages and images.