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Social networks provide teenagers the opportunity to develop and maintain a strong sense of community while expressing individual tastes and personal experiences. Teenagers around the world utilize social media daily to connect with friends and enrich their social circles. FriendsUtopia is committed to providing the custom social networking opportunities members expect while working in partnership with parents and law enforcement to protect teenage users. The following Parent Internet Safety Guide offers resources and suggestions to promote safe online practices for teens.

Parent Internet Safety Guide

FriendsUtopia recognizes the vital role parents play in teaching safe Internet practices to teenagers. In order for teen users to master the basics of safe Internet usage, FriendsUtopia encourages parents to talk frequently with their teens about online safety and to access the Internet together on a regular basis. Engaging teenagers in this dialogue is often less daunting than it appears. Asking teens to visit their favorite websites or to access their accounts at various sites and instant messenger services are both simple ways to initiate such conversations.

 

When it comes to Internet usage, many teenagers have the advantage over their parents through their level of expertise. Asking teens to act as teachers may help level the playing field; however, it is also helpful to explain why these questions are being asked. Reading up on technology developments, especially those teens have embraced, may lead to better communication and understanding. Additionally, online software and tools are available to help keep teens safe.

 

Communication about Internet safety involves a general understanding of how and why teenagers access social media. All teenagers feel the need to be heard by peers, which enables parents to guide teenagers on how to appropriately express their individuality in profiles. Young users also need to hear the potential implications of what they put in print by emphasizing how written words may have the same, if not more, impact as spoken words. Cyberbullying, the use of any form of electronic communication and information technology to deliberately threaten, harass, exploit, demean and/or embarrass another, is a common risk for Internet users and represents a key talking point for parents.

 

Teenagers also need to understand the specific ways parents will protect them and monitor their online usage. Keeping home computers in an open space, frequently viewing the websites teens are using, as well as reviewing email messages, instant messenger conversations, photos and saved files on family and individual computers may enhance dialogue about online safety. Furthermore, a variety of parental tools are available to support efforts to monitor Internet usage and restrict access to websites that contain mature content or facilitate communication with older adults.

 

Parents may also enhance data management protection efforts in their home. For example, parents should maintain secure administrator access to each computer and with their ISP. Also, remember that some websites parents visit may not be appropriate for children. Keeping login and passwords secret, including those used for email accounts, and changing them frequently may be essential for online safety and security. Likewise, teenagers should be informed of the potential dangers of disclosing login information and passwords to anyone other than a parent.

Abuse Reporting

If you discover your teen has experienced inappropriate online activity, or if you have concerns about your teenís use of Tagged, please contact FriendsUtopia. If you believe your teen has experienced criminal action, contact your local authorities. A crime online is still a crime and law enforcement personnel have sophisticated tools used to investigate online crimes.

Online Safety Topic Review

In order to support parents working to protect their children from potential dangers online, Tagged provides links to a number of online resources. If you have questions or comments about relevant online safety topics, please contact us.

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