E-safety tipsAs parents of teenagers we are concerned about the dangers of social networking. While our children are digital natives, we have virtually come to the world of new technologies, we are digital immigrants.

Sometimes we are disoriented, lost, we do not know how to protect them and we tend to forbid.

We must understand that social networks have become a stage of socialization very important for our children, in which they develop many skills and learn to relate to others. It is important to know how the internet works, the social networks and the dangers that can be found to create a safe space where our children can foment capacities that allow him to establish bonds with their equals.

Talking with them, advising them, educating in respect and warning of risks are the key so that they can navigate with peace of mind.

Here are some questions you should know:

1. Connect with your children.

The cyber world is a space that like the real one requires an accompaniment from the parents. We care and take care that our children go out with friends in a safe and healthy setting. Our children need this same care in the world of new technologies. As responsible adults we need to know the internet and talk to our children about network security.

2. Wi-fi.

Today, there are many devices used by our children: smart phones, tablets, computers, laptops and consoles. All of them have internet connection and must be protected. Install an age-appropriate filter, lock, and control software on all Internet-enabled devices. Wireless devices like Router can help you to know which systems are connected to the network.

3. Do we know who our children are related to?

As parents we want to know who our children are, what kind of company they have, and so on. In most cases we know their friendships personally, but adolescents also relate to a high percentage of friends through the network. We need to stay involved in the online world of our children, being interested in the websites they visit and the people they communicate with. It is necessary to establish norms and limits in the use of new technologies, for example: at what times of the day they can use them, how long they can be connected, what use to make of them and so on.

4. Get up to speed!

The Internet is in a process of constant change. New applications, new social networks, new spaces and internet sites and so on are coming to market every day. It is necessary for parents to familiarize themselves with those used by our children, to know how they work, why they care about them, and whether they are appropriate for their age.

5. Privacy.

To prevent them from dangers and difficult situations, one of the gold standards we should always give them is that they should never give personal information online. For example, detailed information about your current location, address, phone number, bank accounts, family photos, etc. Maintaining our privacy and security is essential to interact in a safe environment.

6. On the internet, not everyone is who they say they are.

To care for our children we must explain that they should only accept requests for friendship from people they really know. They will never have to meet someone they have met online without talking to us first.

7. Gender Violence 2.0.

The forms of control are adapted to the new technologies. Adolescents who exercise gender violence see social networks as a risk of losing control over their partners, which is why they use new technologies as a means to continue to exercise control, power, threats and ill-treatment. For example: limit the friends that the couple has in the whatsApp, use photos committed as an extortion mode so that your partner does not break the relationship, use applications that allow you to detect your exact location in every moment and so on. Our children need us to help them discriminate against healthy relationships from others that are harmful, so we should advise them not to share passwords with their partners and not to allow control over their contacts.

8. What do you share on the net?

Sometimes teenagers are not aware of the consequences that inappropriate content may have on the web. It is necessary that they feel accompanied and helped in a responsible and safe decision making regarding the publications they carry out. Sometimes they need to discriminate what content and in what situation can bring negative consequences.

We must help them to think what they can share and what they involve a danger because it can be misused, misinterpreted or taken out of context. It is necessary that they become aware that what is published in the network ceases to belong to them and they lose control over it.

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