Santa Barbara
88° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Santa Maria
91° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
San Luis Obispo
90° F
84° F

Keep teens safe while they're online

Published On: May 16 2011 02:45:41 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 30 2013 12:58:54 AM CDT


According to a teen Web survey commissioned by Cox Communications and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 61 percent of those surveyed had profiles on social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. In addition, one-third of the teens said they were considering a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online.

When faced with the potential dangers of social networks, some parents think the only way to keep their kids safe is to ban them from the Web. The problem is that tech-savvy teens know how to get around most software blocks, and can get online at other locations. Although it's impossible to eliminate every online threat, here are a few practical tips that will minimize the risks.

Take Advantage Of Safety Features On Social Networking Sites
Most social networking sites have built-in safety features and settings. In MySpace, for example, click on the "Safety Tips" link at the bottom of the home page to access its security information. Learn as much as you can about the security features each site offers, then share the information with your teens.

Teach Teens To Keep Certain Information Private
Teach teens to avoid sharing personal information such as phone numbers, addresses, school, age and their real name. Also, they should avoid creating screen names and passwords that contain information such as birth dates or social security numbers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Web users should "only post information that they are comfortable with others seeing and knowing."

Join A Social Networking Site Yourself
One of the best ways to monitor a teen's online activity is to join the same social networking site and become their "friend." Keep in mind that they may have accounts set up that you don't know about, but most teens have at least one or more MySpace or Facebook profiles. Don't hang out on the site too much, but do drop in occasionally to see what they are up to.

Let Teens Know About Sexual Predators
Social networking sites have become "candy stores" for sexual predators, and most teens are not aware of how dangerous they can be. Teens should avoid posting or texting (especially seductive or nude) photos of themselves, and should never flirt or engage in sexually explicit discussions with anyone. According to the FTC, teens who don't talk about sex with strangers online are less likely to come in contact with predators.

Teach Teens To Report Suspicious Activity
If teens feel threatened by someone or afraid because of something said online, they should tell an adult they trust, report it to the social networking site, and the police if necessary. It's usually easy to tell when someone has crossed the line, the hard part is being brave enough to do something about it. Let teens know that by reporting suspicious activity, they might keep someone else from becoming a victim.


The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Nevada College Student Goes Missing in Santa Barbara

    A young woman visiting the Santa Barbara area from Sierra Nevada College in Nevada, has gone missing.

  • Teen With Ties To Santa Barbara Arrested In Bay Area Killings

    NewsChannel 3 has learned one of three drifters accused of gunning down two people in the Bay Area is from Santa Barbara.

  • Neil Young could face fines for playing overtime

    Rocker Plays Past Bowl Curfew

    A conditional use permit requires musicians to stop performing at the Santa Barbara Bowl by 10 p.m, but that didn't stop Neil Young on Saturday night.

  • Los Olivos Woman Killed in Murder-Suicide Mourned

    The woman killed in a murder-suicide in Los Olivos Thursday morning is being remembered as a "great" sister, daughter and devoted mother of three children.

  • New Ice Rink Opens With Fanfare

    Goleta Ice Rink Opens With Fanfare

    A long awaited ice rink opened its doors to the public on Saturday.

    Goleta's Ice in Paradise held a ribbon cutting for the soft opening of the facility at 6985 Santa Felicia Drive.

    There were plenty of smiles and cheers as people skated on the NHL-sized hockey rink for the first time.

    "I've been waiting over thirty years for this," said Tina Kerrigan of Santa Barbara.

    Jack Norqual, a long-time hockey player and retired businessman, was instrumental in turning the ice rink into a reality.

    "We did not compromise. We could have compromised and done something to a lesser degree but we felt that people waited long enough," Norqual said.

    Norqual also brought in Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider who helped finance the project.

    "This is going to be a tremendous asset to the community for all the kids that need so many things to do.  I am just thrilled we are going to be able to have it," Snider said.

    The $15 million dollar facility, which broke ground last November will provide a place for local figure skaters and hockey players to train closer to home.

    "It's so much nicer, I can't even tell you. It feels like you are playing in a college stadium. We're hoping we get some students at games and hoping for success with that now that we are 2 and 0," said Will Hahn of the Santa Barbara Royals hockey team.

    "I'll be able to skate more times a day," said figure skater Valentina Juricek of Santa Barbara.

    Former LA Kings hockey player Luc Robitaille said hockey is a fast-growing sport in sunny California.  

    "Kids love to skate. There's something about it right now. There's been tremendous growth and there's a lot of kids playing in the NHL who are from California," Robitaille said.

    Norqual said this facility has something for everyone, including adaptive athletes and people who just want to have fun.

    There will also be a place to kids to do their homework after school.

    There are still some finishing touches that need to be completed before the official grand opening in November.

  • West Nile Virus Detected in Santa Barbara County

    Dead birds in Goleta, Santa Ynez Valley test positive for mosquito-borne virus.

  • City College president announces retirement next summer

    Santa Barbara City College President Announces Retirement

    After announcing her retirement plans, Santa Barbara City College president Lori Gaskin attended a special joint meeting of the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees and Santa Barbara City Council.

  • Brush Fire Burning Along Freeway Near Los Alamos

    Firefighters found themselves battling a brush fire along the center divider of U.S. 101 about two miles south of Los Alamos.

  • Randy Quaid mugshot

    Vermont State Police via CNN

    Celebrity mug shots

    Actor Randy Quaid, best known for movies like "Kingpin" and "Independence Day," was arrested Friday trying to cross from Quebec into Vermont. Take a tour of our gallery of celebrity mug shots, featuring familiar faces dating back to 1938.

  • Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt at Maleficent premiere

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Celebrities: Where were they born?

    When it comes to the birthplaces of celebrities, they're all over the map. See which celebrity was born where.