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Video:How to Talk to Your Teen About Online Safety

with Patricia O'Laughlin

Learn how to talk to your teen about online safety to ensure that you get your point across to them.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Talk to Your Teen About Online Safety

Hi, my name is Patricia O'Laughlin and I am a Marriage and Family Therapist with TherapyForParents.com. Today I am talking to you about how to talk to your teen about online safetyon behalf of About.com.

Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Online Safety

It's important to know that there are developmental stages to using the internet. When your child was in elementary school, they probably started using the internet with interactive video games; in middle school, they might have started engaging in social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter; and as teenagers, a lot of times is when they find online gambling sites or online sites that have pornography.

Five Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Online Safety

There are 5 things to consider when talking to your teenager about online safety.

The first is to make them aware that cyber-bullying is real and can exist. Help them understand that there should be boundaries, and that when using social networking sites they have to be cautious about what they post and what they share.

The second thing is that information they share on the internet is open to a lot of people. Help them understand their privacy settings and help them consider things such as what videos and photos they will be posting on the internet.

The third thing is talk to your teen about adult information on the internet. Have a conversation with them about gambling and pornography. Often times, teens accidentally run into these things for the first time on the internet. You want them to get the information about what these things are from you, not the internet.

The fourth thing is make sure you are clear about what the household rules are about the internet, about how many hours per day or week the teen is allowed to use the internet, as well as what times of day they are able to access the internet. Also talk to them about internet addiction and the risks of this when using the internet excessively.

The fifth thing is let your teen know that if they do start to experience cyber-bullying or inappropriate contacts by people that don't feel safe, that they can come to you for support. Also, give them numbers of other places such as counselors or hotlines that can help them if they feel like they are experiencing these things. The internet isn't going anywhere. Help your teen use it responsibly. Help keep them safe while using the internet.

Thank you so much for watching. For more information, visit us on About.com.
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