The Internet: Opportunity and Danger

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jan 21, 2013

In recent years we have witnessed an explosion of social networking innovations like Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Instagram, and others, all new ways to communicate electronically. With these warp speed advances in technology comes the danger of not having set standards for appropriate behavior, acceptable disclosure, and potential risks.
Young people appear to be particularly vulnerable as many may not typically use safeguards and do post borderline inappropriate, if not unacceptable photos and messages on their personal pages. There is also a propensity to seek and accept friend requests from scores of individuals they do not know, in order to boost their number of "friends".
Did you know?
*On average more than 9 of 10 teens ages 12-17 use the internet
*More than three quarters (>75%) of all teens in this grouping have cell phones.
*74% of teens have personal profile pages on various social network sites
*More than 25% of teens play online games with people they do not know
*Almost 2 in 10 teens have sent or received sexually explicit photos
*Nearly a third of all in this age group have been harassed online.
*About one in three teens is a victim of cyber bullying
We have heard of many situations where online users seem to have invited unintended scrutiny of their personal pages, creating unforeseen difficulties via peer pressure, cyber bullying and use of personal details to wreak havoc in the lives of individuals
Adults and parents can use common safety sense to help our young people avoid pitfalls
If you are unsure about posting a picture your uncertainty is a good indication that you should not do so.
If you would not show a picture to your parents then it is not a good idea to post
Treat personal pages as if anyone can see the contents; this should help you be mindful about posting anything considered questionable or put you in harm's way
Do not disclose personal information (name, address, phone, passwords etc.)
Remember online friends you have never met, are strangers!
Do not open emails from sources unfamiliar to you
Teens and children should immediately tell a parent trusted adult if they receive any kind of contact that makes them uncomfortable
Use maximum privacy options for personal profile pages
Secure pledges to practice safety & agreements to periodic parental monitoring for safety.
The FBI reports an increase in victims via email solicitation and smart phone malware infiltrations that can damage your electronics. Be Safe! Think Smart!
LECSA EAP (631)-851-1295

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