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Internet Safety

Get Informed - Internet Safety

The internet is a great resource. You can use it to do research for school, find out what movie is playing near you (and whether people like it), check out a college you’re thinking about, or find a job or volunteer opportunity. Almost anything you can think of has a website about it. And it’s not just websites; blogs, videos, and downloadable games await to connect you with other users and players. With this amazing ability to connect comes dangers as well. As a smart teen, you should be aware of the dangers that exist online and how to deal with and protect against them.

Not So Fun Facts

  • Teenager SEXTING (the process of sending or receiving sexually explicit photographs by cell phone or computer is AGAINST THE LAW in most states and any involved in such acts risk possible felony charges and/or being listed on sex offender registry.
  • One in 5 teens have engaged in sexting (1)
  • Nearly one in five teens have bullied someone via social media, email or text message, and one in ten have been cyberbullied by someone else. (1)
  • The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy conducted a study about teens and sexting:(2)
  1. 66 percent of teen girls and 60 percent of teen boys do it to be “fun or flirtatious.”
  2. 71 percent of teen girls have sent or posted sexual content to a boyfriend or girlfriend and 51 percent of teen girls say they do it because of pressure from a guy.
Get Informed - Internet Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Internet Dangerous?

Just as in the non-cyber world, some people you encounter online might try to take advantage of you. The web allows for complete anonymity, so someone posing as a 17 year old may really be 30. As a result, responding to violent messages from people you do not know, displaying leud pictures online and/or agreeing to meet in person with someone you have met over the Internet is extremely dangerous, as this can result in sexual assault or even murder.

Define Sexting

Sexting (a portmanteau of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between mobile phones.  Sexting is against the law.

Define Chat Rooms

A website where visitors can exchange messages by typing them onscreen which makes them appear to scroll by as a conversation develops with other visitors to the site.

Tips to Avoid Problems when Using the Internet

Get Informed - Internet Safety

Be Web Aware when using chat rooms and online profiles.

Chat Rooms

Most chat rooms are not supervised and users may use anonymous screen names. Therefore, most teens feel unafraid conversing with other people, assured that their identity is kept hidden. However, internet chat rooms can result in cursing, torment, improper conversations, and cyber sex. Even when chat rooms are specifically for teens, participants are not necessarily all teens. Someone you meet in the chat room may actually be an adult predator who has made up an identity to hide his or her age. So, be aware when in chat rooms, and use a name that is not gender-specific (so you are less likely to receive pornographic material or other forms of harassment). If you do receive pornographic material, report it to your local police department.

Need Help? How to Stay Safe on the Internet

  • Never give out personal information, such as your name, home address or phone number, the name of your school, pictures, credit card numbers or the names of your parents without permission from your parents.
  • Do not meet in person with someone you met online.
  • Do not give out your password to anyone.
  • Do not open links or files from people you do not know.
  • Never respond to e-mails with pornographic or other inappropriate material.
  • Do not respond to advertisements — this confirms that you have a working e-mail account, and you will only receive more junk e-mail.
  • Report Internet Crime to a trusted adult (parent, teacher, counselor, doctor or coach).  You can also report any pornographic sites or sexual solicitations to www.cybertipline.com or 800-843-5678.

For video clips that are useful on internet safety, view the links below refer to:

http://www.nsteens.org/Videos

If you prefer a list of safety tips for teens rather than videos, refer to:

http://www.netsmartz.org/InternetSafety

References

1. Cox Communications’ National Teen Summit on Internet and Wireless Safety Addresses Cyberbullying, Sexting and Other Safety Issues, at http://cox.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=427, last accessed 4/2/14

2. SEX AnD TECH: Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults, at http://thenationalcampaign.org/resource/sex-and-tech, last accessed 4/2/14

 

 

Information Last updated 9/14/14

Disclaimer: All health information on Girlsmarts.org is for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a trusted adult/guardian or professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard parental or professional medical advice or delay in seeking these because of something you have read on the Girlsmarts.org website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call a trusted adult and your doctor or 911 immediately.