Social networking sites are very popular among teens because this is gives them a sense of belonging. While many say that this is part of growing up, there are risks involved, which is why they should be cautions.
Since they are not kids anymore, they more or less know which information of themselves should be made public. It is okay to talk about their hobbies, their favorite band or sport but not post their phone number or address since someone might call them up or visit them at home.
They should only add friends that they know in real life like their classmates, teachers and family members.
So no one outside their friends will be able to read anything that they posted, it is best that this is set to private. Doing so will prevent people who are not in the friend’s list from viewing their blogs or photos.
Before you post it, make sure that this is tasteful and not sexually provocative. You can make alterations using some programs to remove any identifying information.
They also should not post any plans like where they will be on the weekend to avoid meeting someone who could be a potential threat.
When they open an account, they should use a screen name and not their real name. It is also advisable not to mention their real age or gender as some sites require it.
The only way your teen can log into their account is to type in their username or email address and password. The password must never be shared to anyone even their friends.
Should they encounter any harassment or negative comments on their profile, it must be ignored and reported to the administrator.
The time may come that someone they meet online will want to meet them in person. It is probably okay to do so after knowing this person for some time and not after chatting with them only once.
When they do decide to meet, they should still exercise caution by telling someone where they are going and who they are meeting. They could even bring a friend along so they will feel safe. Should things go well without any incident, then there won’t be any problems. But should the uneventful take place, they should be report this to the police and to the administrator so the one responsible for this will be punished.
While some teens may think that they are not given any privacy, parents who decide to put the computer in an open area like the kitchen or family room are actually doing them a favor. This will let the parents know what sites they visit, what content they have downloaded and monitor their surfing habits.
When the teen is logged into a social networking site or simply hanging out with friends, it is important that they just be themselves. This means not being bullied or pressured to do something they don’t want to do or be something they aren’t which can only be achieved of course by knowing their limits.
They should also stop chatting with someone who asks about their physical features or what is their attitude toward sex because the individual who is asking just wants to have sex which is a classic case of manipulation and not true friendship.