Staying safe in an unsafe online world
There is no doubt that the Internet is a great resource that puts loads of valuable information, skills and knowledge at our fingertips. The Internet enables you to be in touch with friends and family and also can provide you with entertainment and education. However, the online world is full of dangers. It is very essential for you to understand the continuous dangers of an online presence and how to handle each of such instances with the help of parents and trusted adults.
Being online for information, knowledge and communication can unknowingly expose you to inappropriate content, violent images or bloodshed, extremist web pages, identity theft, malicious content or even to cyberbullying.
- Recognize the dangers of befriending strangers.
- Know that talking to trusted adults immediately upon encountering a dangerous situation is very important.
Why Is Talking To A Trusted Adult Important?
It is not advisable to be silent when you encounter a dangerous situation online. Being silent without taking any corrective action can aggravate the situation. You should therefore be open to voice your feelings and problems faced online with a trusted adult. Talking to your school guidance counselor or local police in cases of serious dangers, like cyber-bullying, is also a good option.
Most often teens do not speak up about such experiences due to an inherent fear of being punished by adults. It is very essential to recognize that anyone including adults can fall prey to online dangers and therefore very vital for the teens to talk to parents, guardian or any other trusted adults. It is better to talk to an adult and seek help before the situation goes out of control.
What Can Adults Do For You?
If in any situation, you find that a website is being used to insult you or is being used for cyberbullying, immediately report such instances to your parents and they will arrange to contact the right channels. They may report the same to the ISP (Internet service provider) or the site administrator for a lawful action or enforcement. It is equally important to talk to the school or college administrators and urge them to take a strong stance against all forms of online dangers.
What Should You Do To Avoid Online Risks?
First of all, you should agree not to respond to rude and harassing e-mails, messages and postings. Keeping a record of all such online instances and speaking to the police officials for appropriate action is another option. You can also change your e-mail id or contact number to avoid such instances. However, talking to adults, parents or guardian regarding such incidents should be the foremost activity.