Teach your child to:
- Be as anonymous as possible
- Use privacy settings
- Think before they post
- Avoid in-person meetings
- Be honest about their age
- Remember social networking sites are public spaces
- Avoid posting anything that could embarrass them later or expose them to danger
- Remember that people aren’t always who they say they are
- Check comments regularly
- Avoid inappropriate content and behavior, and, if encountered, report it to the social networking site
Parents should search social networking sites their teens visit to see what information they are posting. Make sure you are added to your teen’s “friend list” so you can view their information and verify that their profiles are set to private (as they should be!). If you’re uncertain whether your child has a profile, do a simple online search by typing your child’s name into a search engine like Google,or into the search option of the site in question.
How to Report Abuse on a Social Networking Site
- Learn what constitutes abuse according to the Social Networking Site’s Terms and Conditions page. Click the ‘Report Abuse’ link and type a description of the abuse in the text field labeled ‘Message.’ Be sure to include a detailed description of the nature of the abuse you are reporting. Also, try to include the name or profile name of the person whom you are reporting, and submit it to the Social Networking Site.
- If you feel you and/or someone you know are in danger, contact law enforcement immediately.
- Do not respond to messages from the individual and be sure to keep copies of messages or correspondences from the individual.
- Block the individual from contacting you and remove the individual from your “Friend List.”
- Delete any comments the individual has left on your profile page.