Keeping teenagers safe online has always been tricky. COVID19 made the problem even more concerning, with teenagers forced into schooling under lockdown. The dangers;
Kids learn. socialise, game and shop online. Skills they need for a lifetime, the internet is a learned habit. When it comes to internet safety, and your teen's online behaviour, we are delighted to share a couple of simple guidelines.
Multiplayer video games
is a social media app for posting images, videos or live feeds in various formats with text and hashtags like #fyi #fyp #bieber Instagram has private or public account options. Public accounts will get shared with others usually based on #hashtags Ronaldo, Arianna Grande are the two largest Instagram accounts. Back with Manchester United now, Ronaldo has 360 million Instagram followers. Private posts will only be shared with friends.
Pros: Inspirational, creative
Cons: Promote unrealistic ideas of what’s real or normal. For example, It has recently come to light that Facebook knows that Instagram causes young girls and women body images server and has no plan to deal with it.
Owned by the Chinese company, Bytedance, TikTok has expanded from its original young girl audience to worldwide use by literally everyone. Originally Musical.ly in Europe & America, it became part of the TikTok social media app in 2019 when TikTok took it over. Now a worldwide sensation, it has been slow to assure parents and users that it cares about user wellbeing. However, in January, the US arm announced that new users aged 13-16 years of age would be set to private
Pros: Easy to use, Great fun, people can shoot and upload video usually shortish with caption.
Cons: Need to be super careful when using first, as the highest-rated, most viral content will be shown first as the TikTok engine figure out your interests
YouTube, the video-sharing site. With teens, make-up tutorial videos, video game demonstrations, singing and music videos all have huge popularity. YouTube Influencers cause
Check some of the FIFA Youtube for examples
Pros: Educational, Instructional and entertaining videos. The world biggest jukebox and how-to manual.
Cons: YouTube has too many adverts, little viewer discretion, an overreliance on its recommendations algorythm as it tries to keep up with TikTok and Instagram. Learn more about our Internet Safety Talks for Teenagers
Snapchat lets you take a photo or short video – with the option of many fun face-recognition filters – to your friends. The video/photo then deletes itself straight after being viewed.
Snapchat has lots of funny face-recognition filters that let you send funny selfies
Pros: It makes video and picture sharing easy and means the content doesn’t fill up memory on everyone’s phones.
Cons: If any content is bullying or inappropriate, it can delete itself before the recipient gets the chance to report it.
We cover sexting a lot in our online safety talks, however, we have a couple of excellent articles here. Sexting is poisonous and if your teenager says everyone is doing it, that is not true. Everyone might say that, but it is not true. Sexting needs to be tackled had on with real life-changing consequences explained, schools and parents find it very hard to do. Contact us
The message posting site that gave birth to social media. we wouldn't bother covering it except it was the first one. Teenagers share memes, jokes etc. If you have a public account you can share your posts more widely by using hashtags, or you keep your posts private too.
Pros: Share news and opinions, and find out what others are saying too.
Cons: Exposed to a full range of content (good and bad) and since it’s public, their posts may receive comments from strangers
One of the most popular Apps for securely, privately messaging – one-to-one and in groups. Messages are “end-to-end encrypted”, which means they’re private. In our school internet safety talks which you can book here. We are always amazed how much kids use and rely on WhatsApp
Pros: Quick and easy, works on pretty much everything
Cons: Can be addictive, especially if they’re in any active group chats.
Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, League of Legends, Grand theft Auto are popular with lots of teens, adults, and everyone else. Video games linked to the internet let you play with people from anywhere else in the world on public servers. Remember for primary school-aged gamers we say no public server or very least no headphones
Pros: State-of-the-art gaming is great fun and is creative, educational. Instant messaging, chat options make them very social.
Cons: It’s possible to play with and chat with people who they don’t know.
So these are the main platforms that teens spend their time on at the moment. But what are the main risks? With teens, once you’re aware of the dangers, the most effective way to protect them is to keep on their backs. Screaming, shouting, manic aggression and that's just you and on occasion some old fashioned kicking and punching.
It is that important for your teen to see you as the authority in your home. Teens who do not feel like there are consequences for their actions will often act out and try riskier behaviours to get their parents’ attention. Setting a limit on phone use for teens, laying very concrete ground rules, and making sure they are followed, is an easy way to enforce you as the rule maker.
Articles, links and connections from the BeSecureOnline site you might find interesting.
Article about Online Reputation.
Need to know - Snapchat
Let's talk about Sexting
Found a naked picture of your teen on his/her phone
Facebook says kids with 1000s of followers get bullied
Internet Safety - Protecting Your Teenagers Online Reputation and identity
Setting up the right Social Media Profile
Low-Cost Norton 360 Premium
Gamers - You need Nord VPN
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