Santa Barbara
69° F
Clear
Clear
Santa Maria
71° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
74° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
75° F
Clear
Clear

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
teens_computer

iStock/vgajic

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.

Comments

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
  • UPDATE: Dog Killer Duanying Chen Released to ICE Officials

    The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department announced that inmate Duanying Chen was released directly to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

  • Source: Lompoc Police Department

    Santa Maria Man Arrested After Attempting to Cash Counterfeit Check

    A Lompoc business owner is being credited with helping to catch a man attempting to cash a counterfeit check.

  • Fans Welcome Johnny Depp in Santa Barbara

    Hundreds Welcome Johnny Depp to Santa Barbara

    Thousands of fans showed up in downtown Santa Barbara Thursday night to catch a glimpse of Johnny Depp who received the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Maltin Modern Master Award.

  • Takata Airbag Scandal

    Tipline Investigation: Takata Recall Tames A Mustang

    The growing scandal involving Japanese airbag maker, Takata, may cost a Santa Paula man his dream car. Even worse, those defective airbags could cost someone their life.

  • Film Feast 2016

    Annual Food Feast Underway in Santa Barbara

    Free tickets aren't the only thing people will be lining up for at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival:  they might find themselves  turning to food.

  • Santa Maria Youth Violence Round Table

    Santa Maria has been through a rash of violent crime and murders in the past year that has shaken the All-America city.

    Six homicides in January of this year followed 13 murders in 2015.

    KCOY 12 is committed to bringing you stories of those who are working to make a difference and end the violence on our streets.

    Scott Hennessee and Melissa Mahan sat down with three people who are committed to helping young people in the community. Los Prietos Boys Camp Director Laurie Holbrook, Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley Program Specialist Chastity Johnson, and Center for Employment Training Director Gabriel Morales all agree the deadly violence in Santa Maria is the worst they've ever seen in the city.  Our next question was, what's changed?

  • Go Red For Women Day

    Wear Red Today!

    Today is Wear Red Day and join our news teams as we are wearing red to help raise awareness for heart disease and stroke.

  • Local Oil and Gas Workers Losing Jobs

    Freeport-McMoRan laying off dozens of employees

  • Oscar Flores photo

    Slideshow: 2016 SBIFF Opening Night

    The Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off it's opening night with The Little Prince, starring Jeff Bridges and Mackenzie Foy, and Directed by Mark Osborne.

  • Oscar Flores photo

    Slideshow: Johnny Depp - 2016 Maltin Modern Master

    Johnny Depp was honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Renowned film critic Leonard Maltin returned this year to moderate the event at a packed Arlington Theater.

Advertisement