By Savvy Cyber Kids March 7, 2018
Today’s children are considered ‘Digital Natives’ because they were born into a world defined by technology, but are actually “Digital Naives.” Without intervention, children lack an understanding of the implications of their digital actions. We tell kids that they should never meet-up with a person they met online and that someone you don’t know in real life is always a stranger (because you can’t confirm who they really are). But, let’s face it, the internet is about making connections.
From dating sites to Craigslist and social media groups, adults make online connections that turn into real-world connections regularly. At some point, children will have reasons to make these kinds of connections too. Even if that time is when they go off to college, the adults in children’s lives need to model behavior that ensures safety in the digital world.
While you can never guarantee anything you do will keep you 100 percent safe, there are precautions to consider if you really want to meet up with someone you met online. Here are tips for staying safe when meeting and talking to unknown people online.
If you are under the age of 18, these are not suggestions. You must bring a trusted adult with you if they approve of the meet up. If any of your plans are not accepted by your new online friend, stop communicating with them. And then take time to block them on your accounts and hide your information from them.
When meeting and talking to unknown people online, your safety and comfort should be important to them. It will be important to any good person you meet online who wants to meet up IRL. The reality is that it’s a dangerous world out there — for them as well. Even following these tips cannot guarantee your safety.
Talk to the trusted adults in your life, use good judgment, and stay safe out there.
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