Are Your Teens Cyber Safe

Table of Contents What is Cyber SafetyWhy Do You Have to Be Cyber SafeTips For Teens to Keep…
teen being cyber safe while chatting online on laptop

Are you, your kids, and teens cyber safe? Have you taken all the measures to ensure there is complete cyber safety when you or your loved ones are online?

To be cyber safe or to ensure that you as parents and caretakers provide online safety for yourself and your family, you need to take certain measures.

I hope most of you have already taken the necessary precautions to ensure that your family is safe online.

If not, please read through this post to know what measures you can take to ensure Internet safety for you and your family.

Though this post is for teens and kids, and their parents too, but I’m sure even you would find something of value in it if you want to learn more about cyber safety.

I’ve been reading so many cases about internet security issues with teens and adults that it scared me a little because my teens are also online, though with time limits set for them.

But are they really cyber safe? Are your teens cyber safe?

Just this little thought led me to research a little online about what all we can do to keep teens cyber safe. Here is what all I learnt, and hope you do too. Let’s start by understanding the meaning of cyber safety.


What is Cyber Safety

Cyber safety is often interchangeable with terms like “cybersafety”, “online safety”, “Internet security”, “online security”, and “cyber security”.

You can’t overlook the risk involved in using mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices to access the Internet or other social media.

The breach of privacy often leads to unauthorized access to personal information, fraud, and identity theft, which is a major concern for you and your family. So, how cyber safe are you?

To keep yourself and your teens cyber safe, you need to know where the risk lies. It could be through –

  • Email
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Mobile
  • Downloading and file sharing
  • Social networks
  • Online shopping and auctions
  • Entertainment games and contests
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • And many other places.

Being cyber safe is to avoid being disrespected, scammed, bullied, ripped off, or stalked while you are trying to surf online.

“But I’m acutely aware that the possibility of fraud is even more prevalent in today’s world because of the Internet and cell phones and the opportunity for instant communication with strangers.” ~ Armistead Maupin

The Australian government has a good Cybersmart site and it even has a cybersafety help button that you can download on your computer – check it out.

There’s even a National Cyber Security Awareness Week held each year to create awareness and educate people on how they can protect their personal information online. This year it’s being held from 20 to 24 May, 2013.

Does your government also provide such utilities to keep you cyber safe? Let me know in the comment section.

Why Do You Have to Be Cyber Safe

Although the Internet might be a source of useful information for your teens, but it isn’t always safe for them. Nor is it safe for you unless you don’t take precautions.

Your teens don’t have a switch ‘off’ mode in their brains, thus are rather impulsive. This behavior can often lead them towards illegal downloads, cyberbullying, inappropriate photo or video downloads, meeting strangers, and even cheating!

Understanding teenagers isn’t all that easy. They like to have their own way and would want to try out new things online. I see that a lot with my kids at times.

But as parents you have to keep teen’s cyber safe and make them aware of what goes on in the online world.


Teens often like to follow their elders or even friends, and when they see others posting their pictures online, they want to do the same.

My kids were like that too once upon a time. But because I don’t post my or my families pictures online, they too take care and do the same. They now understand the importance of cyber safety.

You need to teach your kids and teens to be cyber safe by teaching them to self-reflect before they go ahead and self-reveal. This would ensure their online experience is safer than it would be otherwise.

teen with laptop worried about being cyber safe

Tips For Teens to Keep Cyber Safe

You need to ensure that your teenagers are safe when they are surfing the Internet, and there is complete cyber safety for them. Here are some tips for teens to keep cyber safe –

1- Whenever you are online, always use a strong password, which should be a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. Don’t use the name of your favorite food, pet, or friend.

Also, never share or tell your password to anyone, even if it’s a friend you trust, and don’t forget to keep changing your password often.

2- Always think before you send or say anything online. Take care as to how the recipient may feel.

3- Never believe everything you read, and before you do that, make sure it’s coming from a reliable source.

4- Don’t try and hide yourself behind a computer screen. Conduct yourself online, as you would offline. Remember if you feel you shouldn’t say it boldly enough, don’t say it at all!

5- Never disclose any private information over the Internet, or through your mobile phones about yourself, your family, friends, or anyone else you may know.

Don’t disclose your address, phone number, your full name, or any other personal detail in chat rooms, forums, and social networking sites. And never use any ‘flirty’ or ‘suggestive’ log in names.

6- Tell your friends to seek your permission before tagging or uploading your photo on their social networking profiles.

7- Don’t click on links that come embedded in emails. Instead, type the URL into the browser and open the page from there.

8- Don’t buy anything online without your parents’ permission because sometimes ads may try to trick you by offering your free stuff or mentioning that you’ve won something just to collect your personal information.

9- Accept friend requests only from people you know. Even if it’s a friend of a friend, it’s not advisable to add them to your friend list unless you actually know them.

10- Never use illegal or inappropriate content anywhere on the Internet, nor forward any images or photos that contain nudity. Always think before you post or text as your words can damage your reputation and impact your future.

Remember, anything you post online today may remain online for years to come. So, make sure what you post isn’t something you regret later.

11- Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you have met online. Seek permission from your parents before doing so, if at all.

12- Always ensure that your social networking profile is set to private, which you can do by checking your security settings.

13- Take your parents into confidence and tell them openly about the websites you visit – there’s no harm, is there?

Share your knowledge with them and make it a family fun time activity, sometimes at least.  This would make them less suspicious about you socializing online too.

14- If you do come across a case of online stealing, computer hacking, or any such illegal activity, you can report what you saw at

Similarly, for any activity involving someone sending you nude photos, or sexual messages, or asking you to do sexual things, go to

15- You might even like to check out Google’s safety center that has a nice video about staying clear of cyber tricks.

16- Most importantly, always log out from your personal accounts because you don’t want to leave any doors open for hackers or other people with bad intentions to enter your accounts and steal your information or pictures.

“The internet has been a boon and a curse for teenagers.” ~ J. K. Rowling

Your teenagers have their own mood swings and like to do as they please, just like mine! Most of them are always checking their friends’ updates, or posting their own.

Or else they upload photos, videos, play games, video chat or chatting on IM, explore or discover interests, and love to access and absorb information that they like.

As parents, you need to ensure your teens are cyber safe because their online presence and interactions might affect their future.

Their reputation, privacy, and sometimes even their physical safety could be at risk.

Have a look this video which is all about ensuring how you, your teens, and family can remain cyber safe.

[youtube id=”pagKQcPBMVk” width=”620″ height=”360″]

Internet Safety Tips for Teens and Parents ~ You Tube Video

You need to make sure that your kids are safe online. See how you can do that below.

Tips For Parents to Keep Teens Cyber Safe

Just as the above mentioned tips were for teens, I just thought to mention a few tips that parents can use to ensure there is complete cyber safety for their kids and teens too.

  • Talk openly with your children about how they should use the Internet and the dangers present online.
  • Let your teens surf the Internet by placing their laptop or computer in an open living area, and not in their own room.
  • To prevent misuse, learn about the security software that are available and install them on your computer or laptop.
  • Don’t ban the Internet for your kids and teens, instead, restrict the time they are allowed online.
  • Use the ‘History’ button in the browser program to keep track on the website that your child visits. It’s always good to keep a check off and on.
  • Don’t allow them to surf late night, and keep a check where all they have an access – school, Internet cafes, library, and other friends’ house. Find out if these places have any Internet policy and whether they are cybersafe.
  • If you have a wireless connection in the house, don’t forget to turn it off when not in use, especially when you sleep at night.
  • Explain to your kids and teens about the kind of information they are allowed, and not allowed to share online.
  • Inquire from your child if any of their friends are having issues with Facebook abuse or similar cases elsewhere.
  • Openly discuss about some incidents you know that might’ve happened to children who were unaware of cyber safety.
  • As parents you must be aware of cyber bullying, cyber stalking, and identity theft and the affect it has on your kids of any age. Tell your teens about how instant emails, messages, along with images can sometimes cause embarrassment and a threat. These messages can easily be forwarded by twisting their meaning and can cause distress to the sender and recipient. Tell them about how women and girls are usually the victims and are harassed, and sometimes it all starts with online friendships.
  • It’s good to keep a check, so join the same network as your teen and follow their activity.
  • Encourage and praise your children when they come to you with their queries, and answer truthfully to the best of your knowledge.
  • Lay out clear rules your children have to follow for being online, and mention the consequences if they don’t keep up with those.
  • Reassure your teens that they can come to you with any of their problems without the fear of losing their laptops or their Internet access.
  • If your child is bullied, tell him/her to tell you about it immediately. Stop him/her from replying to the bully, and then block such people. Tell him/her to tell you all of it and plan out what’s to be done next.
  • Keep screenshots of any nasty comments if your teen shows them to you.
  • Tell your kids to be aware of spam links that might come in their email, which could contain a computer virus or even sexual content.
  • Ensure that your teen’s email account has the spam filters switched on. Their accounts should be at such a setting that it won’t lead strangers to them.
  • Remind your child that people don’t always tell the truth online, and if someone says he or she is 15 years, he or she might be a 30 yr old person. So, don’t take anything at face value.
  • Set limits to the number of download, or all that they can download, depending on their age and content.
  • Make your kids and teens CyberSmart, and do check out another good site that helps to make the Internet safer for your children and teens.
  • To keep your family and teens cyber safe you could use web filtering products that you find online. Two of such products that are the easiest to set up and configure for home use are K9 Web Protection solutions and OpenDNS FamilyShield.

“The Internet is just bringing all kinds of information into the home. There’s just a lot of distraction, a lot of competition for the parent’s voice to resonate in the children’s ears.” ~ Phil McGraw

Remember, just as you learn to stay safe when you leave your home in the real world, you also need to stay safe online or in your virtual world.

Your online safety lies in your hands. Take care before things get out of hand 🙂

Over to you

Had/have you taken all the required measures for Internet security? What steps have you taken to ensure cyber safety for yourself and your family? Are your teens cyber safe? Share with me in the comments below.


Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos, 123RFphotostock

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  1. Fantastic post about a timely subject. I don’t think most parents understand the relationship to social media and drinking or experimenting with drugs. The research is staggering.

    Thanks for bringing this issue up, Harleena!

  2. Hi Rudraksh – nice to have you back after long 🙂

    Absolutely! Being cyber safe is important, not just for us, but for our kids, teens, and family as well.

    Nice to know that you are careful when you are online, or perhaps you’re a blogger and have read much about it, as compared to other teens who aren’t aware of cyber attacks and hackers. Good that you are taking care of your cousins, and I’m sure they would appreciate your efforts when they grow up.

    Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Hey Harleena,

    Cyber security is one of the major issue for parents now a days. Although I’m not that much older. I’m also a teenager but I’m quite responsible. Even I take care of all of my cousins to keep them safe from all that dangerous stuff on internet. Worth reading this article. Thank you mam.

    Rudrksh Pathak

  4. I agree with Rahul, trust will make things easier and safer. Although kids are instinctively curious and providing them an access to internet comes with a great responsibility. It is hard to limit their access because of the proliferation of smartphone that can easily access the web. Predators are lurking online and are always on the lookout for minor victims. PC should be placed on the living room so parents can see what their kids are up to when browsing the internet. Cell phone should be simpler like Nokia phones, or Just5 phones to limit their access. Or if they own a smartphone, it should be taken from them once they are home, strict rule like not allowing them to use their phone unmonitored or in their bedroom may also be helpful.

    1. That sounds perfect but it is practically impossible. You can’t restrict your kid’s to that level. Sometimes it’s so frustrating because you know something is wrong but you just can’t stop it.
      I am not a father but a brother to an 18 year old boy. And believe me it’s not an easy task to take his cellphone away from him.

      1. I guess starting to parent your children from the time they are young helps here. Oh yes…at that age it’s not easy to take their cell phone away, but you could stop them from using the Internet through that and choose the normal computer for that, or limit the amount they are allowed each month for chats. Solutions also we alone have to find.

        Thanks 🙂

    2. Hi Rebecca,

      Trust from both sides does make things easier, but that only develops with time 🙂

      I agree with that, and it’s not just smartphones, but so many other gadgets and things online that kids and teens are open to nowadays, all thanks to the advancement in technology.

      Predators are on the lookout for anyone, young or old, thought the young ones are caught because they are innocent and not taught to be cyber safe. Yes, placing the computer in a common living area works best, and this should be followed by most parents, till they begin trusting their kids or till their teens grow up.

      We restrict the time limit when our kids use their phones, and we haven’t given then Internet access through it either. They really don’t use their cell phones much, and I’m glad they don’t, except to call their friends or receive their calls, or then music and play games (not online ones!)

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Hi Harleena, This is great information.

    I have been asked to speak at our local school board on a similar topic so thanks for doing the research for me! It’s so important for parents to monitor their kids’ social networks. That can be the earliest sign of trouble. Kids may intend for a post or photo to be innocent but suddenly words or images are taken the wrong way.

    My younger daughters have told me of a girl in their school who likes to take embarrassing photos of her friends and put them on Instagram. Not good. She may think it’s funny but others are getting their feelings hurt. The mom says, “Oh, I don’t understand this stuff,” which is like saying, “I don’t understand drugs so I am not going to deal with my daughter smoking pot.”

    I was in the #dadchat Twitter chat last night and someone compared the Internet to being in a big city. Yes, there are safe places in the city and there are unsafe places. It’s up to you to know where is unsafe and protect your kids from going there.

    A pet peeve of mine is when parents let their teens on Twitter. Parents don’t realize that Twitter is open to the world, it’s not like Facebook which is restricted to friends. Yes, you can lock a Twitter account to friends but that is very rare.

    Universities and employers look at social media accounts so what your kid says online may have implications for a lifetime.

    Harleena, I really like how you structured this article, writing to both teens and parents. I am going to show this to my girls. They understand the need for safety but they will respect hearing it from you as well as from me.

    Thanks so much for this very important message!

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Glad you liked the information share here 🙂

      Ah…that’s such a lovely co-incidence I would say! And it would be great if you could share something from this post at the local school board – wish you the best for it. You could also include OpenDNS as Mayura just mentioned it in his comments above, something that I wasn’t aware of, if you didn’t know about it earlier. I guess all the information used seems to always fall less where being cyber safe is concerned – isn’t it?

      Your are so right, and in most of the cases kids and teens put up posts or their pictures with friends in a very innocent way, just for sharing between friends. But who is to know how they are taken, twisted, and forwarded all over. We just need to be so very careful with our kids and ensure all their social media profiles are set to private, or shared with just a few limited family and friends. Speaking of which, we just don’t share our pictures, and seeing that even our kids don’t share theirs – better to play safe rather than regret later I guess 🙂

      Ah…how can parents, or the Mom of that girl act this way, especially once she knows what her daughter is doing! She surely needs to be checked for this, or perhaps the school authorities can do something about it. Not to mention, putting the pictures on Instagram means you are allowing and wanting the whole world to see it, and she’s obviously doing this because she knows her parents don’t care, of won’t say anything to her.

      Yes indeed, the Internet is a huge city and there are many unsafe places here for sure. We need to protect our kids, and even ourselves from going there. I feel kids and teens are more vulnerable at their age and want to explore the forbidden places too. However, being parents we need to ensure that we educate our kids about the Internet before allowing them to be online.

      Ah…my kids haven’t been told about Twitter as yet by me, nor do they have many friends there. They are all happy just being on Facebook at the moment and l’m glad they are online for a very short period of time, under supervision, and just once or twice a week – if at all. But yes, I get your point about how every tweet made is public and it really doesn’t work like Facebook there.

      Yes indeed, universities, employers, and even their prospective life partners I’d say – everyone is going to see their profiles one day, and it does make sense to keep hold of what they share and do online.

      I’m glad you liked this post, and I hope your girls like it and can learn something from it too, though I know with a careful and a much more net-savvy Mom, they are in safe hands. But yes, as you mentioned, which I also feel my kids do – is listen better when it comes from someone else, rather than their own parents 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding much more to the post through your experiences. 🙂

  6. You have said it all, Harleena. But real problem is that you can’t follow your children everywhere. On some some point you have no other option instead of believing what they tell you.

    So I think main factor here is trust. They must trust you and vice versa. That is the way things work. 🙂

    1. Hi Rahul,

      I agree with you there – yes we cannot follow our kids everywhere, but we can ensure that we instill strong values in our kids in such a way that even when they are away from us, they do the right thing, without us having to keep an eye on them 🙂

      Parents believe their children, but sometimes kids and teens take advantage of their honesty. Yes, if there is trust everything is good and smooth. However, kids and teens often prefer doing what they like to do or don’t like to listen to their parents, and that creates problems.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  7. It’s been a number of years ago Harleena but back with MySpace was really popular, I friended my niece and nephew. I soon learned that they were sharing way too much information about themselves online and of course I told their parents. They didn’t even know they had an account. I always worried about my niece with the child predators that are everywhere.

    Most of the things that we know online really relates to kids today but so many of them think that nothing will ever happen to them. I just hope that most parents will take your advice here and make sure that they are protected online as well.

    Really great tips you shared here Harleena and as always, fantastic advice for parents that aren’t aware of how easily kids can be hurt even online.


    1. Hi Adrienne,

      That’s sounds so surprising! But yes, such things are known to occur, speaking of which I also didn’t know I had an account on Orkut years back, though later learnt how that happened.

      Your’e right, with so much that happens online, we need to be very careful about all that we, or our kids share online. There are hackers and predators all over, and if we can remain cyber safe in all of this, we are lucky I’d say.

      Kids and teens nowadays tend to think they know it all, and at times it becomes tough to reason with them or explain them not to do certain things. Reminds me of how good we were as teens (at least that’s what we think!) – as compared to the teens nowadays. Not that they’re bad, but the listening skills aren’t all that good I’d say.

      I also hope that parents take note of these tips to keep themselves, and their kids safe online. Taking timely measures and precautions is always better, rather than to sit and regret about it all later – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Hope you are having a nice weekend too 🙂

  8. Very nice article Harleena, I especially liked the point “learn to self-reflect before you self-reveal”, that is very powerful and has so much meaning in itself.

    The tips are great, i wasnt sure i need to switch off the WiFi during night, makes me think now. However, it is still some time until my daughter starts using the internet, so I think am OK for now 🙂

    Thanks for the wonderful tips. Have a great day ahead.

    1. Hi Praveen,

      Ah…that is such an important point with a lot of meaning it too – glad you liked it 🙂

      Switching off the WiFi at night ensures that no one in your neighborhood uses it, because sometimes people manage to break in and do that too, and also if you have older kids, why give them the option to surf online during the late hours of the night, when we know things aren’t all that safe.

      Kids grow up really fast nowadays, and before you know it your daughter would become a tween and then a teen 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a nice week ahead as well 🙂

  9. Good eye opener Harleena,

    These days everything is online paying bills, even mobile recharge and if we are not careful with our credit cards and debit cards then we need to suffer for the consequences. So it is better that teens take the help of an elder when they are using such online mode of payments.

    As you have said we need to ensure that we will not send sensitive data whoever we meet online and setting our social networking profile to private is a good move. Especially for girls who have the habit of uploading pics of themselves it is better not to post frequently as it is being misused these days. people give all sorts of bad and rubbish comments so it is better we have our social networking profiles locked and secure.

    Some mails say you won that you won this send us your name address etc it is better to be silent rather than sending our information and regret afterwards.

    Thanks for the mention of ic3 and cybertipline. Nice video too by Lauren Nelson her points were simple and good. I too once add a parental control software installed but it made by PC bit slow so I uninstalled it may be now I alone use the system so no need of such software, but in future should use them. Avoid chatting with people we don’t know is a mandatory tip these days as most of the people come online to cheat and ask for personal details.

    Nice share Harleena

    1. Hi Vijesh,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, our risks increases manifolds with everything that we can do mostly online nowadays. It’s not only a matter of concern for teens or their parents, but for anyone and everyone who is online. They need to remain cyber safe and take the necessary precautions, or else they might just be regretful later.

      Oh yes…all our social networking sites should be set to a private mode so that all that you share isn’t visible to the public, or then choose those options very carefully where you can share only limited information with only your family or close friends. I agree about the uploading of pictures, and yes, girls need to be more careful in this regard, though boys too should be careful because the gender isn’t seen when cyber attacks or hackers attack you in any form. This is one reason we don’t allow our kids to upload any picture online – it’s totally forbidden in our house, more so, when we don’t do it ourselves, kids see and follow the same things.

      Emails that ask for your personal details or mention that you have won something and you can claim the gift by filling in your details should be spammed immediately, and kids should be told to do the same things.

      Nice to know that you liked those links and took out time to see the video as well. I think she spoke a lot of sense – didn’t she? Try OpenDNS as Mayura just shared that tool above in his comment and he’s using it too. I think you should also use some kind of safety measures even if you alone are using your computer to prevent cyber attacks and hackers. Yes indeed, chatting or emailing people we don’t know should be avoided, and that’s what kids and teens should also be told as they are they first ones to just add anyone and everyone who adds them to their friends list, either to increase their list, or make new contacts, which can lead to problems later.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  10. What valueable information here Harleena.

    I am very glad that I am not raising kids nowadays. The biggest point that you share here is having the computer in a common area and not in the childs bedroom. I know many parents think this is ok. To me it is very dangerous for your child to have a computer in a bedroom where no one sees what a child is doing on it.

    This is extremely important post. I don’t have any teens in my house, but yes I do have a lot of protection on my computer. Hubby is real big on that one, which does make me feel safe.

    Thanks again for out lining all of this. I know too that the day is coming where grandkids will come over and want to get on the computer and I better have it ready.

    Have a great day and hugs

    1. Hi Debbie,

      Glad you liked the information shared in this post 🙂

      Absolutely! When the computer is placed in the common room or area, the chances of kids or teens going haywire are reduced to a great extent because they know they are being watched all the time, even if you don’t really watch them – they are a little scared at least. It’s much better than them doing what they want or feel like in the bedroom with no watchful eye. This is needed more so when your teens are still learning the right from wrong, or are new online, and even works well otherwise for older teens.

      Yes indeed, my hubby too takes care that all the computers and laptops in the house are protected, and with so much of information online, it’s always good to remain cyber safe always – isn’t it?

      Ah…yes…it’s good if you can use these sites and tools to keep your computer safe, which might be used by your Grandkids, kids, or anyone else using the computer – even you for that matter as we can never be sure about Internet safety and what really works or doesn’t.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. Hugs back to you, and stay cyber safe too 🙂

  11. Hi Harleena,

    Wow… Now who’s the techie when you are talking about Internet security here? 😉

    I didn’t know about cyber-safety help button 🙂 That’s really interesting and interprets how dedicated they are for the safety on online users. Indeed now Internet is kinda basic need of humans 😉

    Again coming from experience, eh? 😉 Most of the time, I don’t see that people disclose too much private information in public. However teens do sometimes ’cause they just not aware of the safety. Even we let them know about it, seems they don’t care about it much as they had no experience or heard about worst incidents online. Anyway especially people disclose private information to strangers though. May be it’s really good that Facebook doesn’t allow strangers to message directly without being friends or without paying for it.

    When I go to fix computers around here of folks who has Internet connection, I’ve seen there are different sorts of software installed Halreena 🙂 Parents think that’s enough but I gotta say that now teens and even pre-teens are smart enough. They might not visit suspicious sites intentionally but bad guys online are smart enough. You know, kids just love adventures and try to go beyond safe area. I’ve seen such scenarios where parents believe their kids are safe from unwanted content but that’s not really true. They have been exposed a lot without the knowledge of parents. Not a fault of kids either. It needs right utilities and right protection.

    Do you remember OpenDNS? 🙂 Not sure if we were connected when I write that post though. Anyway it’s a great tool to prevent accessing inappropriate (spammy, sexual content, dating sites etc.) websites and most suitable for children and parents don’t need to keep watching their activity online Harleena 🙂 Even look out for hacker attacks. Try it out if you didn’t and you’d like to recommend it or parents too. I’m using it at my home and blocks spammy kind of websites. You can select what kind of sites to be filtered out. It’s FREE 😉

    You have a wonderful week there Harleena 🙂


      1. Yes, FamilyShield is another good site I came across, again which I didn’t know of earlier. Ah…yes you must be tired, but honestly, this was a new one for me 🙂

    1. Hi Mayura,

      I just knew somehow that you’d say this when you visit to read this post – guess I’m not all that bad 🙂

      Ah…I also didn’t know about the cyber safety button till I researched a little matter for this post, and once I knew, I thought it best to share it with my readers and hope they benefit from it too. Yes indeed, the Australian government does seem to take a lot of interest to ensure their teens and parents know about how to be to be cyber safe and have many sites related to it too.

      You and me would be careful to disclose our private information when we are online, because we know we aren’t supposed to, or perhaps we read so much about it online ourselves, or had our share of bad experiences and learnt from it. I don’t think our parents were all that tech savvy, nor did they tell her the do’s and don’ts of cyber safety as they also weren’t aware about all this in their time. But nowadays parents are smart and net savvy, and their kids – one step ahead of them! It makes sense that both sides take timely measures and ensure their online experience is a safe one.

      I agree with you there – teens often think they know it all, and sometimes even when they are told, they won’t listen and have their own way, or learn the hard way through their own experiences. However, being parents and caretakers, we have to play our part and ensure we let them know about Internet safety – isn’t it? Yes, I’m glad Facebook does take care to some extent, though there is still a lot of problems with it if the security settings aren’t made correctly.

      Nice to know that people your end are careful enough and have installed those software, but as you mentioned, there can never be enough safety where our tween and teens are concerned. We just have to be careful all the time and keep a watchful eye on them. Oh yes…I understand what you mean, and teens love to explore more of those things that they are forbidden to venture into – part of the growing teenage years I guess. And as you mentioned, they are exposed to a lot that even their parents are unaware of because of their friends and other online people they come in touch with.

      I didn’t know about OpenDNS, and shall surely check it out, and it does sound like something all parents of kids and teens should install. But is this one tool enough to take care of things and their safety online, or perhaps we do need to take more precautions? I’m so glad my kids rarely go online and when they do, it’s for a short period of time, and very much under observation. However, for those parents whose kids are online most part of the day, this might be a good solution too – so, thanks for sharing it with us Mayura 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. Have a nice week ahead as well 🙂

  12. My daughter has been on the computer for a few years now… but has started wanting to join bigger more community geared sites. This article was very helpful, and we just keep talking about staying safe, and not sharing your information.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      Nice to know more about your daughter, though she looks rather young, if she’s the one with you in the Gravatar 🙂

      I guess joining larger communities shouldn’t be something to get worried, provided she’s told about cyber safety and all that’s mentioned in the post. It’s better to take timely precaution – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. In my views sending any type of personal images , videos should be avoided as far as possible for securing teens from online malicious people.

    1. Welcome to the blog Himanshu!

      I agree with you there 🙂

      However, being teens they will do what they want to do in most cases. I guess their parents have to teach them about how to remain cyber safe and the side effects of sending images or videos from the time they are young.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  14. Hi Harleena,

    I really appreciate this post and thank you for firstly raising awareness of such an important topic and providing wonderful advice on how to ensure kids and teens can be safe when they are online. It really is a massive area, and in the UK they have dedicated teams (for instance in police forces) to deal with crimes, which are carried out online.

    We actually had an incident in my own family when one of my niece’s was bullied on Facebook when she was younger. Her school had to be informed and I believe the bullies were caught and given some type of punishment.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Hiten,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it’s a small way to create awareness for parents and teens to remain cyber safe 🙂

      It’s good if they have such dedicated police forces to deal with cyber crimes and other such things that happen online, and I’m sure things must be quite in control at your end with such precautions been taken.

      Sorry to hear about your niece, and yes, cyber bullying is a huge racket that goes around that most of us don’t come to know of till the end or till something happens. I’m glad timely action was taken in your niece’s case and those bullies were caught. I guess if we can educate our kids and teens about these dreaded crimes online, they would be more aware and alert and learn how to handle such situations better.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. 🙂

  15. Great topic Harleena.

    Teens are quite hard to “control” of to “provide advice”. When you ask them not to do something, they’ll always be curious to find out WHY and also try to do it in an alternate way.

    There are so many bad things out there in the internet. Apart from being cheated on money and email address, there are more serious issues like being caught in a bully. You’ve shared some great tips in your post!

    1. Welcome to the blog Lisa!

      Absolutely! Dealing with teens isn’t easy! You hit the nail on the head there – their first reaction IS why or then why not! And in most of the cases, when they are stopped from doing something, they all the more want to do it and if they are stopped, some of them find out other ways of trying their hand at it – but do it they will 🙂

      Yes indeed, if we don’t teach our teens to be cyber safe, there’s a lot they can be caught up into online. I guess as parents and caretakers, we need to ensure that their online experience is a safe one. I’m glad you liked the tips shared here.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  16. Great points, Harleena.

    I think it is important to keep computers in homes in open areas. It is a small way to keep a checkpoint. There is so much to teach and learn around cyber safety and we need to have conversations with our teens. Thanks! Jon

    1. Hi Jon,

      Absolutely! Keeping the computers in the open or living area work best for both, the parents and kids. They know that they are being watched, and would be careful of the sites the open, and we too wouldn’t always be thinking about their online safety. Speaking to our teens about being cyber safe is absolutely essential so that they are aware of the right and wrong, even at the times they aren’t surfing at home.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  17. Hi Di,

    Great post as always!

    I think this post of your is not only for teens but for everyone who is working online or tends to be.I feel social media has to be credited to certain extent where everyone has really opened their windows and more so teens are being daily exposed to those things which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible.

    There is one more thing where most of us have almost fallen prey to before our left brain started working – cyber fishing.

    I’ve seen many mails asking for userid and password, these are presented like the clones of the banking sites which comes with the attention seeking subject. We need to be extra cautions of those as well.

    Thanks for this great post Di and have a great week ahead.


    1. Hi Sapna,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, the points mentioned here are a reminder for one and all, and not just to keep teens cyber safe, though our kids and teens are the most vulnerable when they are online.

      We cannot deny the power and influence of social media in our lives, but the negative affect it can have on our families and kids is also a strong point we all need to cater to. The exposure, as you mentioned, is tremendous, and while we cannot deny our kids to be online, we can surely ensure that their online experience is a safe and enjoyable one.

      Oh yes…cyber phishing is again something we all need to be careful of. Ah…I’m glad you mentioned these kind of emails that I also keep getting, and once or twice initially I even clicked on one of them not realizing they were clones – they can really misguide anyone. More so, our kids and teens really have no idea about such thing and might open such emails if not told what to do about them.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us 🙂

  18. Hi Harleena,

    A very interesting topic indeed and you’ve treated it really well too. With all the things going on online recently, one need to be very careful of what he do there.

    Especially for those that are just getting into it like the teens, a very drastic measures has to be taken to ensure that they are all aware of what is going one online and its the parents duties to carry this out.

    Yea, all the tips you outlined here are really very important especially the issue of having strong passwords. I’m a lot of people will benefit from this post Leena, thanks a lot for sharing and enjoy your weekend :).

    1. Hi Theodore,

      Glad you liked it 🙂

      Yes, all of us in-fact need to be careful when we are online, though of course our kids and teens are more vulnerable and need to be told the right from the wrong.

      Parental control should be there to some extent when kids and teens are online, and they do need to ensure their loved ones remain cyber safe all the time. You can never say what might happen with the way things are online.

      Passwords aren’t really paid much of an attention to by our kids and teens, or most of them even forget to log out of their accounts, which is an open invitation to hackers. It’s small things like these that parents need to teach their kids right from the time they start using the Internet to ensure complete online security for them.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing the post 🙂

  19. Thank you for all of your hard work on this subject.

    I hope you do not mind, since you gave such great info and i had been looking for those links you gave, I wrote a review sharing this post on bubblews. I will be sharing the link to the post on my blog.

    1. Welcome to the blog Malika – good to have you over 🙂

      Sorry for the late reply, though am glad I’m here now 🙂

      I need to thank you for taking out your time and sharing my post and a few links on Bubblews and your blog that I saw and shared with my followers too. It feels nice to know when your work is appreciated and found worthy enough to be shared by those who might find it of use.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  20. The Internet is such a cool tool but also dangerous if not handled properly. Its unfortunate that there are predators online waiting to take advantage of others expecially young people – by using one’s personal date. Thankfully more sites online are assuring privacy we just have to know how to apply privacy by understanding and using privacy settings. I’ll definitely be watching as my little becomes a teen then has to navigate the Internet. Thanks for sharing Harleena

    1. Hi Ashley,

      I agree with you there – it is a great resource and most of us can’t do without it, though if we don’t know how to make use of it properly or if we don’t take the required measures, it can become a dangerous place for us and our family.

      Oh yes, there are such people all over the Internet and most of the time you don’t even come to know who is eyeing your account of personal information, and to the extents they can go. Yes, some sites are safe and assure privacy, though I still feel we need to work on it doubly for our kids and teens too. I’m sure there’s enough time for your little one, but yes, as soon as she starts going online, it would help to explain her the basics – start them young as they say 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  21. The internet is such as terrible place for kids especially teens as they’re so influential at that age. I’ve always made sure to watch what my kids are doing on the internet and take the necessary precautions.

    I’ve been lucky the kids haven’t gotten mixed up in anything but I do think about their safety and always talk to them about what they see on the internet.

    These are great tips to pass along to our teens, so glad you shared them with us 🙂

    Have a great weekend Harleena 🙂

    1. Hi Corina,

      Your’e so right about that, and the Internet is the last place I’d like to see my kids too, if they aren’t well protected or cyber safe. They do tend to get influenced by anything and everything at that age, and most of the time the only way they learn is when they experience things on their own. I wish more parents could take care of this aspect and find ways to connect and teach their teens about cyber safety.

      Nice to know that you’re already doing the required, and they also are safe from going through such experiences that might have a negative impact on them. Yes indeed, talking to them regularly about their online surfing experience does help, and they also realize that someone is keeping a watch.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us 🙂

  22. Dear Harleena,

    Again, I first apologise for posting anonymously. You would guess why. And I hope you will publish this comment.

    Whether it’s teens or anyone else, cyber space is a place where people go to great lengths to create personalities that are completely polarised to their actual life. They live dual lives and are on the lookout for young, vulnerable girls/kids and as soon as they sense someone like that, they pounce upon them by way of sweet talk, and promises, luring them into a big trap.

    You know, it’s easier to keep someone at bay if the person on the other end is completely unknown and new, but people who already have a strong presence online, like prominently known bloggers, it is much much more difficult to detect foul play in such a case. You are in a dilemma, as you kind of “already know them” and grow to trust them. In spite of all of this, everything could go wrong. Because many people use cyber space as a pretext to be what they can not be in their real lives.

    Years of friendships could turn into nothing. One just doesn’t know!

    Be safe. Be cautious is all I would say. And not just physically safe, but emotionally safe too.

    1. Hi Anonymuos!

      You know that I do not approve anonymous comments, but you’re exception – because I know the reason and I know you. Well, may be not know you personally, but I’d take the chances to trust you! 🙂

      You’re right in a way that online friendships and relationships could be risky and unreal. I actually covered this issue in one of my earlier posts. But it’s true that even adults need to be wary about the truth and consequences of their online relationships. It is also true that there is lot of ambiguity in the personalities of people who’re online – they might not really be who they appear or claim to be.

      The Internet can really become a web of traps for the young ones if they’re not educated about its dark side and the reality of online relationships. Do all known and famous bloggers really project their true identities and personalities? Well, we use our instincts and intuition to make our opinion of people, which could go wrong, but if somebody is bent upon trying to deceive us and break our trust hiding behind a false mask, it’s really difficult to check and control them. For that matter, even people in real life can be as deceptive!

      Being cyber safe means being safe in all aspects, and despite all adversities, I think we should take precautions but never stop trusting people as all human relations are based on this golden principle.

      Thanks for stopping by and your assessment of the problem of being safe in the cyber place 🙂

  23. Very helpful information here Harleena! I really enjoyed the lists of tips for teens to keep safe… So much to remember and many great ideas here.

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Martina – nice to have you back 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the tips for teens to remain cyber safe. Yes indeed, if as parents we can ensure that their online experience remains secure, we would be catering for their enjoyable online experience.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  24. Very cool post here!

    You shared awesome tips on how to be safer online, that’s useful, the internet is not a useful environment so we have to be careful and not to leave children alone in front of the computer because they might be a victim of scam or something like that 😀
    Thanks for sharing this bright post Harleena 😉

    1. Hi Anis,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Oh yes…kids and teens are very vulnerable to spams and hack attacks through so many sources as mentioned in the post. Parents need to take the right measure and ensure their family remains cyber safe.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  25. Harleena,

    We should all take cyber safety very serious. This post is not only for kids, parents, and teen but for everyone!

    Understanding teenagers is the hardest thing ever; you never know what is on their mind. They want to do things their own way. I guess you have to act like one to get to know them better.

    I love the tips for parents most especially #1 be open with your children about how they should use the internet and the dangers present online. My baby is almost two now, I have to start looking into things like this because they grow fast these days. When is the best age to allow them to start using internet?

    Thanks for the cybersafety help button, I will look into that in for detail.
    Thanks for the share and have a wonderful weekend.

    1. Hi Seun,

      I agree with you there – and if we don’t there is no limit to the amount of risk we, or our families might face.

      Ah…I second that living with two of them! And you hit the nail on the head when you said that you need act like one to know them better, or be more of a friend than a parent to them. It works better that ways 🙂

      Nice to know that you liked the tips on how to be cyber safe for parents, and yes, if there is open communication and understanding between parents and children, they would be a lot more receptive to what you tell or teach them.

      Though your daughter is still small, but time flies – so it’s good if you start telling her the good and bad about the Internet and make her aware. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend to start using the Internet till they are well into their school or 5-6th grade. But knowing how times are changing I really can’t say much about this because every parent is the best judge for their child. I didn’t allow mine till they were 10-12 years of age. Yes, if they wanted anything for their school projects, we used to help them surf and find, but that’s about it. They never missed it either, and that was good because they were more physically active, rather than being glued to the Internet. Even now, they are allowed time only twice a week for an hour each, where they can surf, check their emails, catch up and chat with friends etc – no more, nor do they want more because they are used to this time-table. Yes, holidays they sit a little extra, but it’s all under supervision, which again lies in the parents hand. 🙂

      I liked that Cybersafety button too, and also the other site links mentioned. I guess I also learnt a lot while looking up the cyber safety measures we can take.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  26. Very good tips and tricks on how to be safe online. In fact we spend a lot of time on the internet and I think teens are particularly vulnerable from all sides be it predators to porn. Its best that they do not disclose private information to those they don’t know.
    Thanks Harleena with this very valuable post.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked the tips shared 🙂

      Yes indeed, because of the time we are online, and so are our kids and teens, they are all the more chances of them being affected to porn, cyberbulling, cyber stalking, and all of those things. Disclosing personal details is something that should be taught to even the younger kids because unlike teens, they just don’t think how it could harm them.

      We need to assure they are cyber safe and take precautions before things get out of hand. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  27. Cyber Bullying is one of the reason that leads to many drastic problems in teens..
    Last Year Amanda Michelle Todd died due to this, which shocked whole world….

    nice post

    1. Welcome to the blog Vishal!

      Yes indeed, cyber bulling leads to many problems and can be a reason that might lead to death in cases where it goes beyond limits as you mentioned. A lot depends on the safety measures we take to ensure that our online experiences is an enjoyable one.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  28. Wow Harleena,

    These are great Caber Security tips for teens like us. Thanks, I really love reading through your articles.

    1. Hi Oscar,

      Glad you liked these Internet security tips, and yes – they are for teens, kids, parents, and everyone who wants to learn how to be cyber safe. Nice to know that you enjoy my posts too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  29. Hello Harleena,

    Those tips for teens looks like it is being directed to me 😀 I love telling people the truth when i feel like, even if i know that it will hurt them but i am trying to change that 🙂 .

    Ok!My brother knows the password to my personal pc because i willingly told him and to me, i feel its nothing bad because i trust him 🙂

    I am using 90 character password on my credentials and that would be difficult to crack and i change it every time to even more lengthy and harder password. i am just trying to be security safety 😀

    Back to my kid; I don’t really pay that much attention on his cyber life, but i disabled the porn sites on my network so he can’t watch those kind of videos but i have not thought about others. Thanks for the lovely post to put eye on his cyber life for a while and see how he use it 😀

    1. Hi Babanature,

      Ah…you are right – these tips are for anyone and everyone who wants to be cyber safe 🙂

      You should always tell the truth even if it hurts I feel, because that ways you are being true to yourself and the other person, though sometimes the other person might realize this fact a little later.

      That’s perfectly alright if your brother knows your password, because you trust him and you are an adult knowing what’s right and wrong, though it’s advisable not to share it with anyone – so each one to what suits them. However if teens have to remain safe online, they should not share their passwords with anyone, not even their close friends.

      Wow! How do you manage to remember those 90 characters I wonder, and you even keep changing them to still lengthier and tougher ones! Yes, there’s no question of anyone cracking them for sure!

      I guess your son is still small so you don’t have to worry, though kids grow up fast, so there’s no harm in making sure his surfing online is safe too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  30. Hello Harleena,

    Another great learning post for parents & kids. Cyber crime is common now a days. so parents & teens both know the cyber safety. Specially it is for the teens who are growing up.

    Growing teens are curious to make new friends in social networks specially Facebook. It is very dangerous. So here parents have duty to give a proper guideline to kids.

    I think here parents need to be in a friendly mood to talk about cyber safety. Sometimes teens don’t love to hear about parents advice. But if parents are friendly then they will certainly hear.

    You added important tips For Teens to Keep Cyber Safe. Hope all will read the post & implement it. So digital world will be safe & sound 🙂

    1. Hi Ahsan,

      Glad you liked the post, which I also felt was important to ensure cyber safety for our teens, and family as well 🙂

      I agree with you there – growing teens ARE curious and they like experimenting and trying out anything and everything that comes their way, without really realizing the affect it might have on their reputation or future. Social networks like Facebook are dangerous if parent aren’t cautious of their child’s activities. Safety measures are needed everywhere that our kid’s might have an access to.

      Yes indeed, if parents can spare some time and patience for explaining the details about cyber safety to their teens and kids, it will help them understand what they should and shouldn’t be doing online. Oh yes…talk more as a friend, without actually lecturing them because that they won’t listen to!

      I hope both, parents and children can implement and make use of the tips for being cyber safe and ensure their online experience is an enjoyable one. Although I mentioned parents, kids, and teens here – it surely is meant for anyone who doesn’t know who remain safe online – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  31. You are Right Harleena, there are so many risk in leaving our loved ones, most especially our teen alone online..

    They can be a victim of scamming, sexual harassment etc, when the are leave alone online. But to me the right way to avoid this is to sit them down, talk to them what cyber is all about, advantages and disadvantages of being online..

    Most parent install key loggers or spyware onto their child computer, so as to monitor their activities, i guess that is also an important step to take, in other to make sure our teen are on the safe side..

    Thanks for this wonderful post, this deserve a share.

    1. Hi Temilola,

      Absolutely! We really can’t say how safe we are online, nor do we know whether our kids or teens are cyber safe, unless we take some safety measures.

      There’s a lot happening online right from what we know and as mentioned in the post, to what we still don’t know. What matters most is that we take care and ensure the safety of our children and ourselves when online, and there are many ways of doing that as mentioned in the post. It surely was an eye-opener for me as well. 🙂

      You’re right about talking to your teens and kids, and doing so in a friendly way so that they also open up and talk to you, if and when they have problems online, which can again happen due to many reasons.

      Parents need to install those software and take precautions before it’s too late, and by monitoring their online activities they can guide them better for the future. Yes, some parents install the spy software too, though sometimes teens might take offense or feel we don’t trust them 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing the post as well. 🙂

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