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Talk to your Teens and Tweens about Online Safety

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Millions of tweens and teens surf the Internet every day—and the ease and convenience of using the Internet as a primary form of communication is often offset by its potential dangers. More than one in five tweens and teens post information about themselves, including pictures, the city they live in and how old they are online at popular social networking sites making tweens and teens more susceptible to online predators, who often pose as their peers.

A recent survey from Cox Communications in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) studied tweens and teens’ online behavior. Encouraging results found that, although many tweens and teens are sharing personal info and putting themselves in potentially harmful situations, the survey shows that parents and guardians who talk to their tweens and teens about Internet safety help reduce youth exposure to potential threats and encourage safer online decisions. The survey results will be discussed at length in Washington on July 22, 2008.

This study reinforces the importance of learning how to talk with our children. Read more on Kidoinfo about conversation starters when they are young and the importance of family dinner as a valuable time to talk about things (like internet safety) as they get older.

John Walsh, children’s advocate and host of America’s Most Wanted, will discuss during a Live Webcast on July 23rd what parents and guardians can do to help protect and educate their children about the potential dangers of online predators and offer tips for safer surfing. If you want to participate in this event, register here.

More resources:
Find links and articles about Internet Safety on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) website. 

2021 update: Visit this site to learn current cyber bullying statistics.

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  • Come by the norton.com/familyresource site and download the free Family Online Safety Guide. It has really easy to understand info on protecting our families while they are online. Also, read our article on “The Talk” – five questions to kick start better communication about what your kids are doing on the internet. You’d be surprised what you’ll learn!