Manual Get REAL! A Safety Guide for Women and Teen Girls

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20 Classic Books All Teens Should Read Before They Turn 18 - Best Books for Teens

They predators then befriend teens and work to earn their trust. Once trust is earned it seems only natural to make a date to meet face-to-face. Since many teens that meet people online do so in secret, without telling parents or even real life friends about their activities, face-to-face meetings are often set up without anybody else knowing.

It is ironic that the same teens who post many pictures of themselves and leave detailed profiles at public sites are unlikely to tell people in real time what they are up to. Wanna play it safe in the online dating world? So how do you stay safe while still meeting people online?

There are old rules and new rules you should strictly abide by. Some of these youve likely heard before, and with good reason. So here they are, the cardinal rules of online relationships. Give out your real name, address, birthdate, and location to anyone whom you met over the internet. That person may not be who they are portraying to be, so they don't need to know personal details about you. Meet up with online "friends" alone. If you choose to meet someone online in person, be sure to take a friend with you and to meet in a very public place, like a shopping mall or a crowded Starbucks.

Send anyone money who you have met online. There are a ton of scam artists out there who know enticing tricks to take advantage of teenagers. Don't fall prey to giving out your bank account routing number or other information regarding finances because someone may hack into your accounts. Accept friend request from people who you have no connection to at all. Most sites have some sort of "friend filter" where you can see how a new person might friend request you because you may have another connection with them.

It's likely that there might be something fishy going on. Engage in explicit sex-talk or send sext pictures online.

The Do's and Don'ts of Online Relationships for Teens

There are some online users who may try to speak in adult explicit language involving curse words and sexual profanity. Don't engage in this type of talk. The same goes for pictures, don't send any explicit pictures either. Remember that what is posted online can be traced, shared, and spread everywhere Report any offensive or negative online correspondence to the website's support team and to your parents.

There are online bullies who love to taunt teens online. If this happens to you, be sure to report it so that the bully can be stopped. Keep private information private. Never give out your social security number and other identifiable information over the internet. Someone could use it to steal your identity. Keep your passwords to the various websites in a safe place. The last thing that you would want would be for your annoying little brother or that weird friend from school to hack into your account and start messaging people.

You can control privacy settings. Also, comments on videos can be extremely inappropriate and hurtful. YouTube also has a known pedophile problem which is major cause for concern.

Purpose: This is an anonymous messenger app. Why Parents Should Worry: It is a regular occurrence to see cyber bullying, violent threats, and sexual content.

It also offers unmonitored access to the internet. The age restrictions are inconsistent ranging from 12 to 16, but this app is inappropriate for anyone younger than being in their late teens. Purpose: Bigo is a live streaming app. It is rated for teens 17 and up. Users can vlog about their lives, live stream video game play, and host their own shows. Why Parents Should Worry: There is no age verification and users have to provide personal info like their age and location.

This is a place where bullying, nudity, violence, and profanity is common. Users interact with each other as avatars. There is a Chat Now feature that randomly pairs users with other users and can lead to inappropriate pairings and interactions.

All profiles are public, and there can be bullying and predators trying to get other users to share their phone numbers and to send pictures. Purpose: Houseparty is a video chatting app that's pretty open. Friends can communicate with each other through live video and texts in chat groups. Why Parents Should Be Worried: There's no screening and the video is live, so there's nothing to keep kids from inappropriate content. Users can send links via chat and even take screenshots.

There's also nothing keeping friends of friends joining groups where they may only know one person.

10 things you must tell your teenage girl

Purpose: Tinder's developers describe the app as "the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you. Tinder helps people find others in their geographic location and allows users to view each others' photos and start instant messaging once both people have "liked" one another. The geo-location features and anonymous nature of the app put kids at risk for catfishing , sexual harassment, stalking, and worse. Learn more scary facts about the Tinder app.

Purpose: This app allows users to interact in a question-and-answer format — with friends, peers, and anonymous users alike. Some kids have used the app for hurtful cyberbullying that has been linked to suicides , including the death of year-old Rebecca Sedwick of Florida.

British schools have sent home letters calling for students to stop using ask. In response to the uproar in the U. Check out Webwise's Ask. Purpose: Kik is a mobile app that people can use to text with friends at high speed and with more of a "face-to-face feel" than regular texting users' profile pictures appear in a little bubble next to their text, and they can quickly text photos, sketches, or even pre-designed greeting cards to individuals or groups.

Like some other instant messenger apps, Kik allows your teen to connect with others using just a username rather than texting from her phone number. But it begs the question: Should teens be texting with people beyond their phone contacts? Reviews in the App Store and Google Play store reveal that many people use Kik to meet strangers for sexting. The app also been connected with cyberbullying. Rebecca Sedwick, the Florida bullying victim who killed herself, reportedly used Kik and Voxer in addition to ask. It's no surprise Kik has landed on some parents' "worst apps" lists.

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Purpose: This walkie-talkie PTT push-to-talk app allows users to quickly exchange short voice messages. They can have chats going on with multiple people at a time and just have to tap the play button to hear any messages they receive. Although it largely has an adult following, including some people who use it for their job, it's becoming popular among teens who enjoy its hybrid style of texting and talking.

Why Parents Should Worry: Hurtful messages from cyberbullies can be even more biting when they're spoken and can be played repeatedly. Purpose: Snapchat is an app that allows users to send photos and videos that disappear after they're received. The filters and special effects allow users to alter pictures. Why Parents Should Worry: Some kids are using the app to send racy pics because they believe the images can't be saved and circulated. But it turns out that Snapchat pics don't completely disappear from a device , and users can take a screenshot before an image vanishes in the app.

And while recent studies revealed that "sexting" sending sexual messages and images, usually via text message is not as popular as parents had feared, "disappearing photo" apps like Snapchat might embolden kids to send more explicit photos and texts than they would have before through traditional texting. Check out connectsafely. Purpose: Vsco is a photo creation app that gives users the tools to shoot, edit and post images to a profile, kind of like Instagram.

Why Parents Should Worry: You should know that you have to manually turn on privacy settings and limit location sharing.

Teenagers (15-17 years of age)

There are also in-app purchases for more serious photo editing tools that could cost you some serious money if your kid decides to download them. Why Parents Should Worry: Whisper lets users set up anonymous accounts to make their messages or confessions overlap an image or graphic similar to e-postcards , which other users can then "like," share, or comment on. While it allows for creative expression, it can also take overly personal content viral.

The app also shows a user's location. Although the app is geared toward older teens and adults, younger children are finding their way to it. A year-old girl in Washington was reportedly raped by a year-old man who met her on Whisper.


It can also be used for sharing videos and chatting. Why Parents Should Worry: Common Sense Media says Tumblr is "too raunchy for tykes" because users can easily access pornographic, violent, and inappropriate content. Common Sense also notes that users need to jump through hoops to set up privacy settings — and until then, all of a user's photo and content is public for all to see.

Mental health experts say that Tumblr can be damaging to adolescents' mental health because it tends to glorify self-harm and eating disorders. Purpose: This hugely popular photo-sharing site is owned by Facebook, so you may be more familiar with it than with other photo-sharing apps. Users can add cool filters or create collages of their photos and share them across Facebook and other social media platforms.