The Internet is often compared to the Wild West. It can be a scary place full of unknown territory, villains and debauchery. However, it can also be a place of discovery and positive social interactions. It’s hard to know what online experience your teen is having.
Keeping teens safe on the Internet might seem like an impossible task, but there’s really no need to fear. As long as you make the necessary precautions, your teen’s Internet experience will most likely be a positive one.
Nipping behavior in the bud
When taking steps to ensuring your teen is safe online, the first step should always be speaking to your teen about internet safety. Collaborate with them on rules and guidelines for their internet usage. These guidelines might include when they are allowed to go online and what you can see of their online usage.
Tech-savvy teens might find it easy to get around built-in social media monitoring software or administrative passwords. That’s why it’s important to discuss Internet safety with your teen and create a strategy with them.
Chances are, your teen knows way more about the Internet than you. If you’re worried about your teen’s Internet safety, friend them on social media. Ask if you can check their phone sporadically for anything inappropriate. Keeping tabs on your teen’s social media and Internet usage is the most effective way you can keep them safe online.
Another way to ensure Internet safety for teens is to be the holder of the passwords. Change the network password for your home’s WiFi daily or weekly. In order for your teen to obtain the password, they must let you login to their Facebook or Instagram to check on their activities. This might seem extreme, but if you feel as though your teen is doing something inappropriate online, this might be a measure you’ll have to take.
No phones at night
Creating a charging station in your room for all phones and computers at bedtime is a great option for parents worried about their teen’s Internet safety. Teens are more likely to engage in cyberbullying and negative interactions online. In their bedrooms alone, teens have the chance to surf the web for inappropriate images and videos, and text people they shouldn’t be texting late at night. Because of this, it’s important to remove those temptations by taking away their phones and computers at night.
If your teen continues to engage in inappropriate behavior online, consider other options to protect them on the Internet. Seven Stars is a residential program with a combined focus on stabilization and assessment, residential treatment and adventure therapy. We create an individualized plan for your teen based on their current state in order to move forward and focus on the positives. By putting your teen through Seven Stars’ program, you’re allowing them to reshape their ideas about internet safety for teens and giving them a chance to change their behavior.
For more information about Seven Stars, please call us today at 844-601-1167.