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For cybersecurity, teen online-safety rules ought to match with their Internet use profiles. The rules presented below are in addition to 11 tips I have in another post. Keeping an adult in the loop is a very important item in the list of online-safety tips for cybersafety. This not because teens cannot be trusted, but it is for their guidance. Supervising adults should make it clear to the teens they are supervising that they are not a gatekeeper, but a mature friend for to help teir development. For examples, some personal information posted online may have longterm implication, but it may not be obvious to a teen.
Teen Online-Safety rule #1: Follow General ‘Cybersafety Tips’
Here is a summary of 11 cybersafety tips for online safety: Keep your devices physically safe. And keep your anti-malware, browser, apps up to date. Use strong passwords, and secure connections for purchase and website visits. Think twice before you download or post or provide your information online or make a online friend. For details of this summary, read my post on ‘11 cybersafety tips for online safety’.
Teen Online-Safety rule #2: Keep an Adult in the Loop
You are an adult or almost adult. Right? Why you need to keep an adult in the loop? The cyberspace is not a friendly space for anyone, but it is particularly full of pirates searching for malleable youths. Thus, you need to have a TRUSTED adult for guidance. It could be any adult, not necessarily your mom or dad. Ask the adult before you make a major move, such as posting your resume for a job. If you trust the adult make him/her your online friend and request for feedback.
Teen Online-Safety rule #3: Ask Adults Permission Before You Meet in-Person
Social network is one of the most popular place for teens, because they want to widen their world. That is truly great. You make many friends and learn about people’s life and activities. But before you meet an online-freind in-person, ask an adult for permission. Actually, if your online-freind wants to meet in-person, you should discuss it with a trusted adult, because the real person could be different from the online description. Also, meet in a public place and take a friend with you and keep backups in case you need help.
Teen Online-Safety rule #4: Think Before You Post Anything
What may make you a hero in the eyes of your social-media friends, may be a devastating blow to your college or job application. Will your picture with a bunch of drank friends in a wild party or description of it will score positive points in your college application? Of course not. So, think before you post anything-online.
Teen Online-Safety rule #5: Be Yourself
You are unique, because not two people are same. Don’t try to imitate another person for getting more ‘likes’. If you feel an urge to change, think for a while; is it because of pressure from people you meet online? Maybe you should discuss it with someone you trust. Bottom-line is be yourself.
Teen Online-Safety rule #6: Be Nice to Others
Treat others the way want to be treated by others. Unkind words will not make you any better. But it can hurt someone, who may retaliate. S/he may retaliate by say unkind thing and start bullying. So, don’t provoke others. If some say mean thing about you, try not to react and seek help from a trusted friend or an adult. Use privacy tools to block the meanies.
Teen Online-Safety rule #7: Don’t Give Personal Details to Online-Friends
If someone is initiating a conversion asking for your physical details or picture (directly or indirectly), you must stop communication with that person. Personal life is personal. Don’t reveal any personal details to your on line-freinds. This is equivalent to posting personal information online.
Teen Online-Safety rule #8: No Conversation About Sex With Online-Friends
Would you discuss sex in public, or with strangers? Okay, you won’t. Treat all online discussion as public. And all ‘online-only’ friends as strangers for sex discussion. If someone is initiating a conversion on sex, you must stop communication with that person, and talk with an adult. If the person try to persist, block him and consider contacting law-enforcement officials.
Teen Online-Safety rule #9: Don’t Feed the Bullies
Social media has open doors to bullies. Don’t be a victim to bullies, who are repeatedly cruel to you. If you react to their posts, you are feeding to the bully. Remember it’s not your fault.; restrain yourself and the bully may stop. If he does not, capture the evidence and then block him. If necessary reach out for help.
Teen Online-Safety rule #10: Don’t Waste Your Time Surfing the Cybersapce
Cyberspace has brought unlimited information for mass education. But this where most time is wasted. Don’t be one of those who are wasting time jut for curiosity. Remember, predators are setting up website or infecting legitimate websites to fish for information and spread malware. Don’t visit websites just because they appears to be interesting. Cybersafety is more important that mere satisfaction of mere curiosity.