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Teen Social Networking Safety Concerns

Social Networking

Most parents are aware of the dangers of teen social networking without guidance. They know that predators can lurk online, pretend to be someone they aren't, and lure unsuspecting young people into dangerous situations. However, there are many other safety concerns that parents may not be aware of.

Inappropriate Content on Teen Social Networking Sites

Studies and polls indicate that one of the biggest trends for teens on social networking sites is to post inappropriate content. Many find it easier to bully or make fun of other teens online, and that has led at least a few young people to commit suicide in a response to the bullying. Some people think that the anonymous feel to social networking sites, where bullies can't see their victims, adds to the problem. Almost 39 percent of teens say they have posted a comment they regret on one of the social media sites like MySpace or Twitter.

In addition, one in ten teens admits to posting inappropriate pictures online in their profiles that other friends can see. These range from nude to semi-nude pictures, and they don't realize that these pictures, even if they remove them, can come back to haunt them years later. If anyone makes copies of the photos, they are no longer secure, and people can use them against these teens if they choose. If they post other inappropriate photos (such as photos of teens drinking), they could get in the way of anything from a job application to a college scholarship, because many schools and businesses are looking at social networking sites before they make their decisions. Clearly, these could have long-term and lasting effects on the teens that choose to post this type of content.

The Digital Imprint of a Photo

Most people don't know that even if you delete a photo, the digital imprint of that photo still exists, and it could be accessible to hackers, or just on backups of the social networking site's servers. In any case, most experts recommend that teens (and everyone else) not post anything they wouldn't want their parents to see. That way, they won't have to have concerns about their own teen social networking safety and privacy.

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