Online Communications: What Parents Need to Learn

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Fast developing Internet technologies give its user the spectrum of communication modes with most of them requiring no special advanced computer skills. Some parents may find themselves overwhelmed by the number of online activities their children have these days that is why we begin our enlightenment for the most popular types of communication on world wide web (it is not only emailing, you know).

  • Chat allows to exchange messages in writing in real time between the group of two or more;
  • Instant messaging allows private messaging in real time;
  • Message board Made for discussions in writing, unites users generally based on mutual interest like music, sports, etc. Allows extended posts, embedded pictures and videos. Messaging can also be done in real time;
  • Blog Online alternative to the public diary with entries on whatever authors find interesting and ready to share. Allows comments for the close circle of friends or anyone reading the blog (depending on custom settings);
  • Microblog Design to make fast entries (up to 200 symbols) accompanied by pictures, news comments, links to other webpages. The followers of such microblog receive instant alert that the new publication is made so they can react/comment;
  • Social network Allows to share personal info and make “friends” online by browsing the content and communicating both by commenting other people’s posts or PM (personal messages). Most popular among teenagers since allows them to share pictures, videos, links with the entire circle of online acquaintances and even play games online. The problem of openly exchange of private data and potential risks of using them with malicious intent is becoming more urging by a day. Considering that it is better to teach your child save more to themselves during a conversation online and keep yourselves as anonymous as possible. Almost every registration for online suggest providing personal data such as name, date of birth, home address, mobile number, etc. Ask your child to be cautious about it and when it is impossible to avoid registration the real data might be replaced with imagined one. Such information as first name and age can be specified since it does not give away your child’s identity.                                                                                                             With that in mind as an option try to convince your child that their better use a pen-name. They can choose among their favourite comics superheroes or even invent a special fantasy name on their own – what a fun way to “play”! But do not forget to explain that appearing under other name does not give you the right to insult other users or treat them badly. Online etiquette woks just like non-virtual one.      However, Internet communication has its unique specifics your child should be aware of. Unlike real life conversations there are no face of the partner in conversation to be seen so no one could be trusted without come precaution. Even on social networks where most of users have their own profile pictures instead of avatars and share personal info about themselves you cannot be 100% sure that the same face you see belongs to the same person posting on this page. This trick or hiding behind someone else’s identity is widely common among online predators who have a perfect way of draw a veil over their dark intentions and even get away with a crime. They obtain the necessary information about their potential victim, start an innocent conversation with a child, pretend to be of the same age and interests, try to become their friend luring them into a trap, and only after arranging a meeting in the real world they make a harassment.

You know you are on the right track as a caring parent if you are actively involved with your child’s online activity and get yourself educated in the new tendencies to keep up with your little one at any time. And remember – Safe Lagoon is always ready to give a helping hand!