Is your teen internet safety savvy?

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Having good privacy settings is a vital part of online safety that the entire family should learn. By not teaching your family, you could be compromising the safety of your entire family. Making certain information known on public internet sites or via e-mail or SMS message can put your teen in grave danger or even ruin a good reputation.

Facts usually ignored when socialising on the internet:
  • Status updates: Your teen making their address known on a social media platform and then saying that they're are going on holiday can give criminals the opportunity they’re looking for with the knowledge that they are away from home.
  • Grooming: Paedophiles and people addicted to pornography might have a feast on your children's inadequately secured photo albums. Some might even see that your child wants to network, and make contact with them.
  • Scams: Identity theft has become fairly common with the internet and cellphones. Cyber fraudsters now have a variety of ways to access personal information, give and take personal identities and gain access to financial accounts.
  • Spam: Web applications are an easy tool to post your personal email address or cellphone number and unscrupulous promoters and third party list providers will look for this information to spam you with unwanted communications about products and services.
How to protect your and your teen's online and real-world identity:
  • Make sure addresses or any information on your whereabouts is not stored online.
  • Refrain from saying when you will be leaving your home and for how long.
  • Regularly update preferred social network site's security settings to the maximum. For children, make sure that you use security tools that you can trust and that protects your child from harmful adult content as well as sexual predators.
  • Make your teen aware of the message that it sends out to the world when posting certain photos.
  • Although social tools are a means of stating moods, views and dislikes, make sure it is not offensive or disrespectful.
  • Make sure your teen's banking details, pin number or identity number are not known on public websites.
It is worth the time and effort to put these online security measures in place and to help your children wise up on the matter too. Your life and reputation are worth it.

For more information on protecting your children online visit www.parentscorner.org.za.

Do you teach your children about online safety? What are your safety tips?
 
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