Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Social Media Tips From NSTeens

This past fall, as part of the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on cyberbullying. As I started to research the concept, how kids can protect themselves and what parents can do, I became more and more worried. Seth is only in first grade now but he loves to play games on my computer and at certain sites.

And it sounds like some of the cyberbullying is starting earlier and earlier. Gulp. Over the course of my research I did stumble upon some sites that can help adults, tweens and teens. One of which is Netsmartz.org. And another, brought to you by Netsmartz.org is called NSteens. The site, which is also in Spanish, educates teens and 'tweens on how to be safe and smart on the web.

Much the info is very basic (Don't use your real name or address. Be careful about the photos and stories you post online.) but that's exactly what alot of kids need to know. The basics. Just those few tips can go a long way. The site contains videos, comics, interviews with other kids and a design and layout that's very user friendly.

And it also addresses issues like "if you set your page to private, is it really private?" It also addresses the consequences of posting stories that make you look bad. (These days college admissions people and business will check personal pages. Are they going to get the wrong impression?)

The advice is actually very good for alot of us adults out here in cyberspace. It was fun spending time on the site. And its definitely a great resource for parents of kids who into social media.

This post was written on behalf of MomCentral.

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