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Be aware of dangers lurking online

Texting, social media use and blogging are issues no other generation has dealt with before. For the parents of teenagers, establishing healthy rules and setting limits on internet use is unchartered territory.

It is important for parents to be well-educated about the potential risks their children face when they are online, so that they can make an informed decision about how closely to monitor smartphone, social media, or internet use.

There is much debate about how much parents should monitor their teenagers' online activity. After all, many dangers lurk on the internet — cyberbullies, online predators and thieves can take a serious toll on the wellbeing of young people.

Unfortunately, many teenagers also risk ruining their reputations on the internet.

Sending scantily clad or nude photographs, posting inappropriate comments, or being associated with scandalous content on social media can be harmful. Colleges, future employers, or even law enforcement officials could obtain material that teenagers leak into cyberspace.

At other times, teens fall prey to “catfish” — someone who pretends to be someone they are not online and creates false identities.

An adult from a foreign country may pretend to be a teenager from a school close by, or a bully may try to befriend a potential victim online by assuming an undercover identity.

Sometimes catfish simply want to steal information, while at other times they ask for financial help. Teenagers can often be easy targets for these types of schemes.

Take care: people can hide behind false identities online and target teenagers

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Published January 07, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated January 06, 2016 at 4:18 pm)

Be aware of dangers lurking online

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