Home  │ Site Map  │ Contact Us
banner image
Home
Trafficking 101
In the News
Legislation
Resources
Print Materials
Multimedia
Internet Sites

Student Links
Reports
Get Involved
Ohio Centers
Contact Us

Links for Students

 

Social Networking Sites: Safety Tips for Teens

You’ve probably learned a long list of important safety and privacySocial Networking for Teens lessons already: Look both ways before crossing the street; buckle up; hide your diary where your nosy brother can’t find it; don’t talk to strangers.

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, is urging kids to add one more lesson to the list: Don’t post information about yourself online that you don’t want the whole world to know. The Internet is the world’s biggest information exchange: many more people could see your information than you intend, including your parents, your teachers, your employer, the police — and strangers, some of whom could be dangerous.

Social networking sites have added a new factor to the “friends of friends” equation. By providing information about yourself and using blogs, chat rooms, email, or instant messaging, you can communicate, either within a limited community, or with the world at large. But while the sites can increase your circle of friends, they also can increase your exposure to people who have less-than-friendly intentions. You’ve heard the stories about people who were stalked by someone they met online, had their identity stolen, or had their computer hacked.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec14.shtm

Your Safety is at Stake

The FTC suggests these tips for socializing safely online:

  • Think about how different sites work before deciding to join a site. Some sites will allow only a defined community of users to access posted content; others allow anyone and everyone to view postings.
  • Think about keeping some control over the information you post. Consider restricting access to your page to a select group of people, for example, your friends from school, your club, your team, your community groups, or your family.
  • Keep your information to yourself. Don’t post your full name, Social Security number, address, phone number, or bank and credit card account numbers — and don’t post other people’s information, either. Be cautious about posting information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline. This could include the name of your school, sports team, clubs, and where you work or hang out.
  • Make sure your screen name doesn’t say too much about you. Don’t use your name, your age, or your hometown. Even if you think your screen name makes you anonymous, it doesn’t take a genius to combine clues to figure out who you are and where you can be found.
  • Post only information that you are comfortable with others seeing — and knowing — about you. Many people can see your page, including your parents, your teachers, the police, the college you might want to apply to next year, or the job you might want to apply for in five years.
  • Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.
  • Consider not posting your photo. It can be altered and broadcast in ways you may not be happy about. If you do post one, ask yourself whether it’s one your mom would display in the living room.
  • Flirting with strangers online could have serious consequences. Because some people lie about who they really are, you never really know who you’re dealing with.
  • Be wary if a new online friend wants to meet you in person. Before you decide to meet someone, do your research: Ask whether any of your friends know the person, and see what background you can dig up through online search engines. If you decide to meet them, be smart about it: Meet in a public place, during the day, with friends you trust. Tell an adult or a responsible sibling where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.
Trust your gut if you have suspicions. If you feel threatened by someone or uncomfortable because of something online, tell an adult you trust and report it to the police and the social networking site. You could end up preventing someone else from becoming a victim.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec14.shtm

 

Tips by Teens for Teens


  • Remember - A million times before you've heard that honesty is theTips for Teens best policy. Most people don't believe that, though. So when you're out there in cyberspace, watch yourself. You never know when 5'6", blond and female could actually mean 6'3", hairy and male. Don't believe everything you see online.
  • Be leery of those who want to know too much. There's no rule that says you have to tell them where you live, what your last name is, or anything else personal. Your business is your business. Let them stick to theirs. And trust your instincts. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable, leave.
  • We all remember the "buddy system" from kindergarten. Sure, you're no longer in kindergarten, but the system still works. If you're planning on meeting up with somebody you met online, bring a friend, or even your parents, along with you and encourage your online acquaintance to bring theirs, too. It sounds stupid, but it's definitely the smart idea. At the very least, make sure your real friends know what you're doing.
  • Before you take a running leap at the streets and a hard-knock life, let somebody know how you're feeling. Try talking to an understanding relative or friend, or call the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-621-4000. They are a better, more trustworthy resource than a stranger in a chat room.
  • If you get suspicious e-mails, files, or pictures from someone you don't know and trust, trash them just like any other junk mail. You could have a lot to lose by trusting someone you've never even met. The same goes for clicking links or URLs that look suspicious - just don't do it.
  • Avoid chat rooms or discussion areas that look sketchy or provocative, and don't let people online trick you into thinking of them as real-life friends if you've never met them in person. Just the same, don't let people goad you into online fights. If you go looking for trouble on the Internet, you'll find it, and things can get out of control really fast.

http://kids.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/teens

 

A Few More Internet Safety Tips For Teens

DO spend more time with real-life friends than virtual friends

DO tell an adult if someone online harasses you or wants to talk about sex

DO cut off contact with anyone who pressures you for your personal information (name, age, size, photo, address, family information)Safety Tips for Teens

DO be careful of strangers who try to turn you against your family while promising to be your best friend (they may send you gifts and give you lots of compliments, but at the same time, they are possessive of your time and critical of your parents.)

DO NOT exchange pictures with strangers through the Internet

DO NOT open e-mails/instant messages or download attachments from people you don’t know

DO NOT fill out your information to win free stuff

DO NOT go to meet someone you don’t already know in real life

DO NOT post personal information, of any kind, on a personal website or blog

http://webwisekids.org/index.asp?page=kidsRules

 

For More Information

To learn more about staying safe online, visit the following organizations:

Federal Trade Commission — www.OnGuardOnline.gov

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

The FTC manages OnGuardOnline.gov, which provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.

GetNetWise — www.getnetwise.org
GetNetWise is a public service sponsored by Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations to help ensure that Internet users have safe, constructive, and educational or entertaining online experiences. The GetNetWise coalition wants Internet users to be just “one click away” from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family’s use of the Internet.

Internet Keep Safe Coalition — www.iKeepSafe.org
iKeepSafe.org, home of Faux Paw the Techno Cat, is a coalition of 49 governors/first spouses, law enforcement, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other associations dedicated to helping parents, educators, and caregivers by providing tools and guidelines to teach children the safe and healthy use of technology. The organization’s vision is to see generations of children worldwide grow up safely using technology and the Internet.

i-SAFE — www.i-safe.org
Founded in 1998 and endorsed by the U.S. Congress, i-SAFE is a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth everywhere. i-SAFE incorporates classroom curriculum with dynamic community outreach to empower students, teachers, parents, law enforcement, and concerned adults to make the Internet a safer place. Join them today in the fight to safeguard children’s online experience.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children — www.missingkids.com or www.netsmartz.org
NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that helps prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; helps find missing children; and assists victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

National Crime Prevention Council — www.ncpc.org or www.mcgruff.org
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to enable people to create safer and more caring communities by addressing the causes of crime and violence and reducing the opportunities for crime to occur. Among many crime prevention issues, NCPC addresses Internet Safety with kids and parents through www.mcgruff.org and public service advertising under the National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign — symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.”

National Cyber Security Alliance — www.staysafeonline.org
NCSA is a non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to empower home users, small businesses, and schools, colleges, and universities to stay safe online. A public-private partnership, NCSA members include the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Trade Commission, and many private-sector corporations and organizations.

staysafe — www.staysafe.org
staysafe.org is an educational site intended to help consumers understand both the positive aspects of the Internet as well as how to manage a variety of safety and security issues that exist online.

Wired Safety — www.wiredsafety.org
WiredSafety.org is an Internet safety and help group. Comprised of unpaid volunteers around the world, WiredSafety.org provides education, assistance, and awareness on all aspects of cybercrime and abuse, privacy, security, and responsible technology use. It is also the parent group of Teenangels.org, FBI-trained teens and preteens who promote Internet safety.

The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/tech/tec14.shtm

 
 
 
 

sidebar image


 
     

HomeTrafficking 101NewsLegislationResources
Contact UsOhio CentersGet InvolvedSite Map

Copyright © 2009 Collaborative to End Human Trafficking and contributors.
Contributed content used with permission.

Collaborative to End Human Trafficking
Cleveland, Ohio
Tel: 440-356-2254
E-mail: collaborative_initiative@yahoo.com