The teenagers of today cannot imagine their lives without the Internet. It is the crucial point of their multimedia and social experiences; they use it for reading, learning, entertaining themselves and all other actions they need.
However, the Internet is also tool which many people use for illegal actions and criminal tendencies. Therefore, it is very important to teach your teenager how to get the best out of the Internet, without jeopardizing his/her safety.
We Are Using Internet Every Day
Most people who live in developed, or even developing countries, are using the Internet on a daily basis. It is the one of the main tools for modern communication and by 2012 about 20% of the world will be using the Internet every single day in their lives. In order to respond to the needs of such great masses, the Internet itself needed to grow and evolve.
Thus, the world wide web of today is enormously large, with all types of data being available across the cyberspace. Subsequently, pornography, trafficking and many other malpractices are present online too. Therefore, being careful while using the Internet is crucial.
Keep in mind that 75% of teens use the Internet for obtaining information about sex and relationships. Moreover, in Ghana, for example, 53% of teens are using the Internet in order to educate themselves, due to the fact that many of these individuals were deprived of proper schooling.
Relationships on the Internet
When searching for information on relationship online, it is very important to be careful and choose your sources wisely. Bear in mind that many organizations and groups use the Internet for promoting their own causes, gaining more followers. Therefore, if a religious organization is behind a website for relationships, there is a high likelihood that premarital sex will be condemned. On the other hand, there are websites which can help you learn more about safe sex and avoid many of possible problems related to the lack of such knowledge.
Being careful about the phrases you put in the search engine is crucial too. Basically, if you just type “teen sex” in, you are in for an illegal surprise in most cases, with pornography jumping out at every click. Therefore, you will have to be more specific and oriented to relationships and sex. Turning filters in your browser's setup may help you avoid pornographic sites, allowing you to find real educational ones easier.
Yet, most teenagers use the Internet to get in contact with their friends, acquaintances or even some people they have never met before. Services and programs like Facebook, ICQ, MSN etc. all serve these purposes, commonly functioning in real-time, allowing the users instant access, chatting with other people.
Many individuals managed to actually find a boyfriend/girlfriend through such websites. However, you should be extremely cautious in these situations, bearing in mind that various people may use such methods for numerous different forms of Internet fraud.
Internet Safety for Teens
In order to play it safe and avoid uncomfortable experiences while spending time on the Internet, avoid getting in contact with people you do not actually know. Bear in mind that meeting people online is not the same as actually meeting them in person.
If you decide to meet a person you have met on the Internet, bring a friend with you and tell your future acquaintance that an adult person is aware that this meeting is taking place. As for the meeting, choose public places where a lot of people are present and never give out any personal information over the Internet. If someone is asking for such information, think twice and share them only if you are certain that the intentions of this person are benign. Moreover, do not be afraid to ask for the reasons behind the need for sharing information.
As far as Internet porn is concerned, it is very hard to stay away from this excessively available material. Fortunately, the Internet content filters mentioned above are a great way of keeping yourself safe, if you are not interested in such videos, images or other forms of multimedia.
Nowadays, 93% of teenagers go online frequently, with 80% doing this more than once a week. If we know that about 75% of teens possess cell phones, they send and receive about 1500 messages a month each. Therefore, it is no wonder that 1 in every 3 teens have faced online harassment. Girls are much more prone to experiencing this than boys are.
All in all, proper education about Internet safety is something you need to provide your teenager with. He/she may seek different forms of information online, facing a danger of getting involved with things he/she did not want to initially. The world wide web is enormously vast and holds many perilous contents. Thus, you should teach your child about all the necessary safety measures.