Internet safety for teens is a whole new world for most parents in this day and age. Even though we think we are teaching our children internet safety, the truth is there is always more that we can do to educate and help our children through the teen years. Children are on internet based products at younger ages and while we are teaching them as we go, sometimes we forget that the internet is a scary place, especially for teens.
Tips For Internet Safety For Teens
It’s not always easy knowing how to monitor their Internet usage, but still give them freedom at the same time. After all, they are growing up quickly in the world of technology and it’s a good thing for us to grow with them as well. Here are some of our top tips on internet safety for teens to help you navigate this confusing time with you kids.
Monitor as Much as Possible
Even though your teen is a teenager, they still need Internet monitoring. You cannot expect for them to not have any accountability. You don’t need to look over their shoulder every second, but a surprise “hey, can I see what you are up to on there?” never hurt anyone. Everyone should be willing and ready to answer for themselves. Make sure you know who their friends are and what your teen is busy posting online. This includes being on their friend lists on social media.
Social Media Rules Always Happen
It seems as though most trouble happens with social media when it comes to teenagers. A good rule of thumb is to always have rules for social media for your teenager. A couple of good rules to follow would be:
- Do not add anyone you don’t know.
- Never text pictures of body parts.
- Always use good language.
- Never tease or bully anyone online.
- What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet—so be wise about what you post
- Mom or Dad has access to your account for emergency checks.
Always Tell an Adult
There have been many incidents in the media where a teenager has been bullied, and no adult knew about it. Prepare your teen to tell you about any incidents that occur against them or someone else. Not everyone has a strong and caring adult behind them to help establish good Internet safety rules.
Never Meet Anyone from Online
Again, another crazy thing that happens today is when teenagers try to meet up with someone they’ve never met. Make this a priority to talk to your teenage about. Meeting someone from the Internet isn’t a great idea, especially if they are alone. If they have found a friend their age they’d like to meet, be persistent on making sure they bring mom or dad with them.
An Internet Filter is a Good Idea
Pornography is all over the Internet, which is why it’s a good idea to have an Internet filter that helps block this nonsense out. You don’t want your teenager subjected to porn pop-ups. Plus, having a filter helps them from accidently or purposely coming across unwanted media such as this. Net Nanny is one of the more popular and reasonably priced options. It gives you various ways of protecting your children and teens without being too strict on their online usage.
Reiterate Internet Safety
Talking to your child once about Internet safety isn’t enough. It’s like talking to your child about stranger danger, and things happen so quickly that you want your child to always be protected. The more open and honest you are with your teen with these issues, the better off they will be when it comes to making an important decision on their own regarding a situation with the Internet.
Open communication is one of the most vital parts of internet safety for teens. Having a relationship with your teen that makes them feel comfortable sharing with you when something is happening in their life is really important. Even if it is a tough issue to talk about, when they feel safe with you, they are more likely to come to you instead of their friends for advice.