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Typing on the keyboard

In this day and age you will see the majority of teenagers glued to their phones, computers or tablets. With the rapid growth in technology, teenagers have more and more access to the Internet and the dangers that lurk with it. Here are a few tips to educate yourself and your teen about online safety:

1. Talk to Your Teen:
Communication is key when it comes to the Internet and all of the different social media sites available out there. Inform your teen of the dangers of the digital world. Do not be afraid to ask them which websites they are visiting, who they are texting, or what they are posting online. Keep these conversations ongoing with your teen and check in periodically.

2. Stay up to Date on the Latest Technology:
As a parent, it is your responsibility to keep up with the always changing technology. Chances are your teen knows how to navigate the world wide web way better than you do. Ask them to help you with a task that requires use of the Internet. Ask them about the latest app or play an online game with them. Engaging with them through the Internet is a great way for you to show your teen how to make good decisions online.

3. Use Your Resources:
Set up parental controls on your teens devices and take advantage of them. There are plenty of easy to use solutions that will allow you to monitor or block your teens online activity. Kid-friendly search engines are another great way to ensure the safety of your teen in cyberspace.

4. NEVER Give out Personal Information:
It is important that you talk to your teen about limiting what they share on the Internet. They should never give out their last name, home address, school name, telephone number, family information, birthdate, passwords or any other personal information that could put your teen in danger. Unfortunately, people pretend to be someone they aren't online. Giving out this type of information puts your teen at risk for online predators and identity theft.

5. Stop to Think About Internet Etiquette:
Make sure your teen knows to think before they post on social media. If your child wants to post a photo or a comment make sure they keep it clean. Photos should be kept age-appropriate and rude comments/posts are better left unsaid.

6. Safety First!
Your ultimate goal as a parent is to protect your child. Don't be naive and think "my child would never do that". With a little help and guidance you can show them how to avoid the dangers of the online world. Teach your teen to trust their gut instincts. If they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a situation online, allow them to come to you to discuss it. Often times kids will think they will be punished for their behavior so keep an open mind and listen to what they have to say so you can resolve the situation together.

Please call or contact The Louisiana Insurance Center for your insurance questions.  
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