Parents Beware of the Danger of Your Teens Social Networking Behavior

This post was written by Moira Garber on October 2, 2011
Posted Under: Social Marketing

If you are the parent of a teen,  you have probably been wondering about their online safety.  The Internet has made it easier for predators to get access to your children. Because of that, you should be proactive about protecting your child’s online activities, especially if you are allowing them to use social networking web sites.

Most social network sites have an age restriction of 16 or 18. Most are 18 years of age, however, many parents refused to adhere to these restrictions even though there child’s safety could be at risk. Parents will lie for their children allowing them to use these sites even though they are restricted by the sites. Why? Because “everyone else is doing it”.

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it is O.K. Parents really need to take a stronger stance against their children using sites that are meant for adults of 18 years of age or older.  If you are not an web user your self, you may be totally unaware of social networking websites, what they are, and the way they operate.

The very first stage in protecting your teen would be to familiarize yourself with these sites. For example, Facebook was first created for college students, not children. Over the years it has grown to be one of the largest and most popular social networking sites….but NOT for children. Parents are allowing their young teenage children to use this site even though there is an age restriction of 18 years old.

Predators know this and are there looking for your vulnerable child. If you think all you have to do is set up privacy restrictions for your child’s page, you are so wrong in your ignorance. Anyone with any computer savvy can get around these privacy restrictions. Get this through your head now! Social network sites are NOT PRIVATE. They are social sites. Social networking web sites are meant to be exactly what the word says – be social online communities that aim to connect Internet adult users with one another.

When it comes to guarding your kid, your first thought may be to prohibit using online networking websites. Obviously, you should be doing that but parents refuse to take on this kind of responsibility even though the safety of their children are at stake. You’re the parent, you should have control over your child, but most don’t.

Despite the reality that hazard exists, children are going to continue to use these websites with their parents permission. Because of this, the least that you can do as a parent is to make an attempt to teach your teenager to be on the lookout for and to steer clear of  predator type of personalities. Essentially, this means the very best way to safeguard your child from online predators would be to educate them on the hazards that are out their.

Some of the issues which you should be discussing with your child is who they are communicating with online. Although they might not want to provide you with a truthful answer, you need to emphasize the significance of knowing who they are talking to. Your kid should totally read and attempt to understand the content of their online friend’s profiles.

This will help them to understand and watch for inconsistent stories or any inaccurate information. Inform your teen that if they discover an online friend is a liar they must end the conversation right away. If a “friend” becomes sexually explicit they must end the conversation right away. If a “friend” wants to meet them in person it can only be done in your presence.

Additionally, it is essential to know what kind of conversions your child is having with their “friends”.  Your teen might not want to give you a straight answer and may be hiding something from you. Even if that’s the case it is important to teach your children what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Make sure they realize that it is best to completely steer clear of individuals who prefer to speak of sex, drugs, and any other illegal activities. Even though they may enjoy getting a number of online buddies, there are many other individuals, particularly teens, who would more than willing to have nice and harmless conversations with them.

One of the most important things you should be discussing with your teenager about social networking websites is arranging in person meetings. Let them know that these meeting are unacceptable. There have already been many reports of teenagers becoming lured away from their homes in hopes of meeting a brand new friend, who they thought was their age. Sadly, many of these online “friends” turn out to be older sexual predators. There can never be an in person meeting without you being  present.

Even if you are to allow such a meeting with you being present, it is advisable to only meet in a public place where help is immediately available if needed. You never know what kind of door you are opening by allowing such a meet up. It may be perfectly innocent, but 9 times out of 10 it is NOT.

Keeping all of this discussion in mind, your child ought to still have the ability to use social network teenage websites, but rely on them securely. I really advise you to keep them away from adult sites entirely, but since very few parents will take on their parental responsibilities, at least get involved and know what your child is doing online.  It is important that both you and your child are aware of the dangers that lurk online,  and that you know what your child is doing.

Social Media Marketing could be a challenge for most individuals.

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