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Internet Safety

Adult advice to young people regarding internet usage usually consists of the following:

! ! ! !

Do not give out personal information Do not visit certain websites Only respond to emails that are recognizable Do not talk to strangers

Young people seldom receive more specific guidance on what is safe and unsafe online behavior. While young people do not of- ten seek out online pornography, which they find disturbing, they are still frequently exposed to it. Young people are often reluc- tant to tell their parents if they experience harassment online.

Young people report that they want their parents to:

! ! !

Teach them to have online responsibility Educate them about possible online dangers Trust them

Parents and young people should review and sign an internet safety

pledge together. pledge.htm)

(sample pledge at www.netsmartz.org/resources/

Natural characteristics of young people make them vulnerable to vic- timization:

!

Lack emotional maturity

!

Taught to obey adult requests

!

Naturally curious about “forbidden” topics

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