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Susan Mc Lean, Australia’s leading expert in cyber safety and young people, echoes much of the advice given by Brewer and is quite clear in expressing the importance of the role of parenting in the age of the internet and social media.“The Internet has allowed people to connect with anyone and everyone, and children and young people are earlier adopters of technology.Children these days don’t have an online and offline world.Information is permanent Internet safety isn’t about a bunch of rules telling you “never do this”, or trying to scare you into safe behavior.Internet safety is about avoiding being being ripped off, disrespected, bullied, scammed, or stalked while you’re just trying to have a good time online.Rachel Hynes, mum to a teenager and publisher of the website for parents of teens The Kids are All Right, believes that at the present time social networking sites remain the way in which most teenagers are meeting people and describes these connections, rather aptly, as the equivalent of modern day pen friends.Whilst Rachel has no data on how often teens who meet online are actually meeting up in ‘real life’, she is certain that it happens, particularly in cases where people live within the same area and have access to public transport and the excuse of going to an event where they can meet.But your information is also used in negative and sometimes criminal ways.
Every piece of information you post, and every action you take online has commercial value to someone. Your information helps companies provide you ads that are more targeted to your interests, it helps researchers know what kind of products to design, and so on.
My LOL is one such online dating site that is marketed as “Google’s Number One Dating Site for Teens”, with a minimum age requirement of 14, whilst another is Teenspot, which offers chat rooms for its members entitled “singles”, “flirting” and “hottub”.
Another one that is used perhaps more commonly amongst Australian teenagers is Tinder.
Over 60 percent of you have already taken steps to be safer online.
But there is a real difference between the steps you’ve taken to be safe online and what it really takes to be safe and savvy online.
But on this ‘private’ page we learn much more than she imagined.