Here’s a great list of useful tips to keep teenagers safe online. Useful for teachers, parents or anyone who works with young people.

1-Reinforce the public nature of the Internet and let your adolescent know you will supervise online activity.

2-Adolescents are more likely follow the rules when you let them know you will be monitoring them.

3-Limit the amount of time spent online

4-Use filtering software

5-Monitor increased independence. Even though adolescents may appear as though they can “handle” certain situations, they actually require and unconsciously seek adult guidance and supervision

6-Explain where it is appropriate for your adolescent to have privacy: confiding in close friends face-to-face, writing in a paper journal, in his/her bedroom, etc.

7-Reinforce that there is no privacy on the Internet

8-Know their passwords, screen names, and the friends they are communicating with online

9-Monitor the use of webcams and mobile phones, as well as the posting and exchanging pictures/video online

10-Explain that once a picture is sent online they lose control of what is done with it (it may never be completely removed from the Internet)

11-Teach them that it is illegal for people to manufacture, possess or distribute naked or sexually explicit pictures of children under 18 years of age. Explain that they need to tell a trusted adult if they are presented with this situation

12-Teach them that it is illegal for adults to offer them gifts or money in exchange for sexual activity

13-Discuss dignity and self-respect and how it can be preserved or destroyed by messages sent online and offline

14-Discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships

15-Explain that they should never meet in person someone they first meet online without a parent or guardian

16-Discuss online and offline high-risk behaviour and create “what if” scenarios together to help your adolescent recognize dangerous situations and practice responses

17-Encourage open communication and be aware of your adolescent’s sensitivity to social judgment. S/he may be hesitant to share personal experiences

18- Monitor and verify any job offers made, and accompany the youth to interviews

Here is a great Canadian website that features age specific tips and advice that parents or professionals can use to guide their supervision of young people online….. – Age Specific Tips.

Kids in Cyberspace Seminars
If you want to find out more about problematic internet use and internet addiction you can hear Tena Davies speak on this important emerging issue at our inaugural Kids in Cyberspace