Parent Resource Center

Parent Resource Center

We all care about kids, and we know that parents have a harder job than ever when it comes to keeping children safe, successful and drug-free. Luckily there are many resources available to assist you in this challenge. Explore this area of the website and feel free to contact us if there is additional information that would be helpful to you.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA CRAZE: TIPS TO KEEP TEENS SAFE ON-LINE

Here are a few tips to keep your teen safe when using the Internet and other web-based technologies. Don’t be afraid to confront your teen about the potential dangers of social media. Talk to your teen often about how they are using social media and about how others are responding to them on-line. The threats are real and long-lasting.

• Be smart about what you post on the Web. It is a lot more public than it seems. Protect your space. Use privacy settings and don't just randomly accept everyone's request as a friend. Do a bit of investigating to find out more about them first. It's recommended that you don't use your real name or give out too much personal information on your Facebook page or other social media sites.

• Clean up your profile. Take anything embarrassing, too personal or any photos that show you doing something illegal (drinking, drugs) off of your page. Those photos of you dancing with a beer bottle in your hand, are not going to look good when you are applying for college.

• Provocative and sexy names and pictures can draw attention from people you don't want in your life, particularly online predators.

• Posting or sending provocative photos of yourself (sexting) can get you into big trouble with the law. If you are underage, they may be considered child pornography, a serious crime. Never take an image of yourself that you wouldn't want your parents, teachers, or your employers to see. Think twice or three times before you post. You can't take it back and it's out there forever.

• You have no control over where the photos are sent once you send them. The image that you meant for your boyfriend or girlfriend can be sent to their friends, and their friends and their friends. If you forward a sexual photo of someone underage, you are as responsible as the original sender. You could face child pornography charges, go to jail, and be legally required to register as a sex offender. You could also be asked to leave a sports team, be humiliated in public, or lose educational opportunities and have legal problems. Here is a video from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (2 minutes), where teens discuss the dangers of online posting.

• Report any nude pictures that you receive on your cell phone to an adult that you trust. Do not delete the message; get your parents or your guardian, your teacher or school counselor involved immediately.

• Be careful what you download or look at. Some images are extreme, and once you see it -- it's in your mind forever. This is particularly true for violent and/or pornographic images.

• Adults who talk to you about sex online are committing a crime. So are adults who meet underage teens for sex. Some teens may think it's fun but it is serious trouble and best to report it to the police.

• Be careful if you go in person to meet someone in person that you met on the Internet. You may think you know them well, but you don't. Tell your parents or someone you trust before you go. Don't go alone, bring a friend. Always meet in a public place. Make sure you have your cell phone and an exit plan.

Internet Essentials / Literacy Volunteers Trainings
For information on free Internet trainings, please visit www.internetessentials.com you can find a list of training sessions available in your area by zip code search.

A list of Internet trainings provided by Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford can be found by visiting www.lvgh.org.

What Parents Need To Know About: