Talking to Teens About Online Predators

I found this Tip Sheet on Talking With Teens About Online Predators linked to the November 2011 Netsmartz Five monthly mailing.

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The tip sheet is from the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center. The tip sheet includes several “Dos and Don’ts” to keep in mind when discussing this difficult topic with kids, whether you’re a teacher, counselor, or parent. Here are a few examples of items to share with teens. The tip sheet obviously contains more suggestions, advice, and supporting research – this is just an overview:

  • Provocative and sexy names and pictures can draw attention from people you don’t want in your life.
  • 1 in 25 youth in one year received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact
  • Be careful about who you give personal information to and what kinds of things you share
  • Internet offenders target teens who are willing to talk online about sex
  • Boys can be criminally victimized online, too
  • Using the Internet or a cell phone to send sexual pictures of yourself or friends can get you in trouble with the law
  • Don’t harass others. People may retaliate in ways you don’t expect.
  • … and many more…

There is also a list of Internet Tips for Teens at the end of the document that is perfect for displaying in a classroom or handing out to parents.

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