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Internet safety is something that most people under the age of 30 grew up knowing quite a lot about. So, to a point, we don't really have to go through a lot of internet safety tips when we talk to kids these days. At times, they might know the net better than we do.
For example, most kids can tell you at least one or two cyber security tips involving using antivirus software to keep computers safe. Most teenagers might also tell you how to use Jailbreak, or how to figure out if a letter from a Nigerian prince is really legit.
However, as obvious as some internet safety tips are, some are either overlooked or end up being blatantly ignored by teenagers. This, obviously, causes problems for teens later on in life.
Teens, if you are going to go on the net, make a point of keeping things safe. These internet safety tips for teens will help make sure you make it to college in one piece.
Don't go on sites you shouldn't go on.
This is one of the most important internet safety tips for teens and adults alike — but it's one we so often don't follow.
Most of us can tell when sites are being sketchy. The graphics aren't good, the writing is often "off," or our antivirus scanners give us a warning against them. If your scanner says it's not safe, listen to it. You might end up avoiding a virus or a spyware cookie getting downloaded to your computer.
Other sites are dangerous because of the people who go on them, such as ones found on the Dark Web. In certain cases, you can get arrested for visiting a site or being active on it. So, don't do it. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn't go on sites that involves extremist language, calls for violence, or illicit deals.
Going on these sites is never a good idea, primarily because you never know who's watching — or what you may end up downloading to your computer from them.
Don't tell others your email passwords, or your social media passwords.
This is one of those internet safety tips for teens that often gets ignored due to peer pressure...and often can have serious, real-life consequences for those who don't heed the warning.
A person who has access to your passwords can impersonate you to others, dig up dirt on your social life that could put you in serious trouble with your friends, or even do stuff that could end up causing you to have career problems later on.
No one, but yourself, should know your passwords. If someone is trying to pressure you to hand them over, it's never in your best interest to do so — especially if you are dating that individual. Moreover, if anyone ends up finding their way into your accounts and snooping, it may be wise to just drop them as friends and tell an adult.
Don't send nudes online!
This is one of the most crucial internet safety tips for teens you can hear, and it also can make a huge difference in how your life plays out. Guys can and do often pressure for nude photos — even if you're not the legal age to send them. Do. NOT. Do. It.
There have been many, many instances in which people who were too young to send nudes were caught sending them, or had exes who decided to post nude photos of them online once a breakup happens. Even when you're older, this can be life-ruining, but it gets way worse when you're under 18.
However, when you're a teenager and this happens, it's basically game over. Police will get involved, and you will be labeled a sex offender for the rest of your life. This will make it nearly impossible to get a normal job, and will make it exceptionally hard to even get a home later on.
Go with your gut feeling, and don't trust anything that seems iffy.
Most people typically will have an idea of when someone is trying to fleece them. Unfortunately, on the internet, it's really hard to figure out who's legit and who isn't. If you get a funny feeling about someone, you might need to do some background research to find out what the real deal is.
If you can't find proof that what someone's saying is legitimate, don't trust that person. It's way easier to lie behind a computer screen than it is to lie to someone's face and the consequences they could face are often far smaller that way, too.
Additionally, you should never meet anyone that you meet online without safety measures in mind and your parents being aware of it. There was a good reason why To Catch A Predator was put on air; there are sick people out there who target teenagers — and that means you need to be on guard for that.
If you're a victim of cyber bullying, then you need to know your rights and fight back.
This is one of those internet safety tips for teens that I wish I would have learned when I was in high school. If people are bullying you, you have a right to stand up for yourself. Contact the school authorities, and tell your parents what's going on.
If no one is willing to do anything about it, that doesn't mean you should just expect to take it lying down. In many parts of the US, there are legitimate, on-the-books laws against cyber bullying and revenge postings.
This means that, if you are a victim of bullying, revenge porn, or harassment, someone has committed a crime against you. You can get a lawyer and press charges against someone who did this — and honestly, you should.
Lastly, here is one of the best internet safety tips for teens when it comes to reputation...
Back in the 90s, you could be a teenager and say stupid stuff, and later on, it wouldn't matter. These days, social media is kind of a permanent thing — and teenage you can end up kicking the crap out of adult you's reputation if you aren't careful.
So, if you want to play it safe, don't say anything that could potentially end up harming your reputation later on. You never know what will happen, or who you'll become in the future, so it's best to keep things as squeaky clean as possible.