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Teens, Privacy and Social Networking Sites

Teens, Privacy and Social Networking Sites

"If you are not on facebook, you don`t exist"

Social Networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, My Space and Google + are very popular with young children. These Social Networking sites allow gen next to be incredibly creative online, keep in touch with their friends and express themselves using a whole range of different media and application such as Videos, Photos, Music and Chatting.

Social networking sites, alongside sites which enable users to put up their own pictures, text and videos, known as user-generated content are part of a social and technological revolution that is known as Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 allows anyone to produce and publish their own content and link with others. Young children especially love this new environment because they can have a powerful voice to express their identity and opinions and many are using it to good effect.

But sometimes a private space for the generation- Y can become public very quickly and this blur between public and private expression can potentially put Gen-Next at risk in two main ways :-

(1) Teens creating or posting inappropriate or illegal content in their or others' Web pages could get them into trouble with their friends, family members and even the police, depending on the nature of the material. Content posted to the Web can be copied and reposted by anyone and it’s very difficult to ‘take it back’.
(2) Teens can also put too much personal information on these sites. There is also the more likely risk of cyber-bullying with people intentionally harming another person online.

It is not easy talking to a young children about their social networking online or offline. Young children often think of these sites as their private domain, in much the same way as they would a personal diary.

Here are some safety tips to consider as you guide your teens online:-

• Create a list of Internet house rules with your teens. You should include the kinds of sites that are off limits, Internet hours, and guidelines for communicating with others online, including in chat rooms.

• Keep Internet-connected computers in an open area and out of your teens' bedrooms.

• Talk to your kids about their online friends and activities just as you would about their other friends and activities. This includes talking to your teens about their instant messaging list, and making sure they're not talking to strangers.

• Investigate Internet-filtering tools (such as MSN Premium's Parental Controls) as a complement—not a replacement—for parental supervision.

• Know which chat rooms or message boards your teens visit, and whom they talk to. Encourage them to use monitored chat rooms, and insist they stay in public chat room areas.

• Teach your teens never to give out personal information without your permission when using e-mail, chat rooms, or instant messaging, filling out registration forms and personal profiles, and entering online contests.
• Teach your kids not to download programs, music, or files without your permission. File-sharing and taking text, images, or artwork from the Web may infringe on copyright laws and can be illegal.

• Encourage your teens to tell you if something or someone online makes them feel uncomfortable or threatened. Stay calm and remind your kids they are not in trouble for bringing something to your attention. (It is important that your teen does not think that their computer privileges could be taken away.)

• Talk to your teenagers about online adult content and pornography, and direct them to positive sites about health and sexuality.

• Help protect them from spam. Tell your teens not to give out their e-mail address online, not to respond to junk mail, and to use e-mail filters.

• Be aware of the Web sites that your teens frequent. Make sure your kids are not visiting sites with offensive content, or posting personal information or photos of themselves.

• Teach your kids responsible, ethical, online behavior. They should not be using the Internet to spread gossip, bully, or threaten others.

• Make sure your teens check with you before making financial transactions online, including ordering, buying, or selling items.

• Discuss online gambling and its potential risks with your teens. Remind them that it is illegal for them to gamble online.

:-) :-) :-)


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About The Author


Abhaykirti Ramawat


Madhya Pradesh ,  INDIA

I am a student. Pursuing post graduation in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Ujjain (MP).  I am an optimistic team worker, friendly, flexible. A person with creative mind, who always wants to do something new and challenging work.

I have basic knowledge of photoshop and I am very much comfortable in working with net. I read books and write blogs. Other than these I take interest in Bicycling, Movies, Photography, Cricket and Making Ice Cream.

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