10 - Who Wants To Know? When you are registering with web sites that ask for information that you don't think it makes sense for them to have, double check it how that informaiton could be used. For example, most of the time when you are commenting, or interacting in some way, it is normal for a site to ask for your email address. But if you are not buying anything, it is not normal to ask for payment information.
9 - Who Are You? It is important to not lie about your identity, but also not reveal too much. It is OK to tell your real first name and age. It is normally OK to share your home state. It is a bad idea to give your address, phone number, or any personally identifiable information to people you don't know in real life.
8 - Sticks and Stones: I have been called many names, by many people - some not so flattering. Many times the best way to stop a bully is to ignore them. Reputable communication tools have the ability to block or ignore users including AOL's Instant Messenger (AIM) and e-mail systems, Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and Twitter. Use them. Love them. It can help save your sanity.
7 - Just Say No: Kids should be taught to get an adult whenever they see something online that makes them uncomfortable. Whatever makes you uncomfortable should be reported, then you blocked so that person cannot contact you again.
The Internet has introduced a myriad of new words, phrases and even acronyms into the lexicon; LOL, OMG, social network, tweet. I am not surprised that this year's word references social networking and the act of removing someone from your list of friends on your social networking profile. I am constantly surprised at how much the Internet has infiltrated society.
The act of unfriending is one way you can help prevent cyberbullying. If your social networking profile is private (only visible to friends), taking away the ability to be taunted via your social network certainly aids in the removal of the bullying online. You can also block communications by blocking email from either that user or from all unknown users. You can block Instant Messages from a single, multiple or all unknown users. If the cyberbully doesn't have a way to communicate with you, it is pretty hard to be abused.
Have you ever unfriended someone? Why? What other methods have you used to curtail cyberbullying?
Susan Avery, senior editor at ParentDish.com, told the Wall Street Journal that she has observed parents becoming more concerned about not knowing what their kids are talking about. "The best thing is to embrace it and use it as a bonding experience with your child," she says. I agree -- fostering open communications with your child is definitely key to staying plugged into your kids' lives.
Fox News in Atlanta came up with a list of 50 terms parents should know. Hopefully this will help you by:
- Teaching you the latest Internet slang kids are using that may cause you concern
- Giving you an idea of what to worry about if you see a cryptic text message on your child's phone or in their IM conversations
- Providing you with an opportunity to have a bonding experience with your child per Susan Avery's suggestion
The source from this news story was www.netlingo.com. Another source for Internet lingo translations is www.urbandictionary.com.
A new word on the scene is "sexting", which is a combination of "texting" and "sex". It is similar to "cyber sex" through Instant Messages, where two parties are having a sexually charged conversation, but "sexting" is done via text messages through the cell phone. The conversations can even include sending sexually explicit images taken by the cell phone and sent to the other party.
Blogging, tagging, twittering, friending -- are you familiar with these terms, or like many people, does it sound more like a foreign language to you? Perhaps you've heard other people use them, but you just nod, smile and pretend to "get it" as words such as blogging and tagging just whiz by you. These are all examples of common verbs in Internet parlance that are working their way into every day conversations.
To bring you up to speed on the latest Internet lingo, spend a few minutes here to absorb a few of today's popular terms so that the next time someone (i.e. your own kid) informs you that he is going out to find a hot spot so he can update his blog, you will at least know how to translate it.
Blog: Short for web log, this is an online journal that a user typically updates regularly. The page you are looking at is a blog from AOL about family online safety. There are many personal and professional blogs on almost any topic you can imagine.
Cyberbully: A cyberbully is like the traditional playground bully, but the harassment of his/her victims' takes place online. Harassment can include teasing another person, posting rumors/lies about someone, or publishing unwanted pictures of the targeted person in public forums such as social networking profiles, message boards, chat rooms, etc.. It can include creating a negative profile to impersonate the victim, or e-mailing or instant messaging the victim using "anonymous" user names for the purpose of taunting or stalking the victim.
Facebook: Facebook is a popular and rapidly growing social networking site based on circles or networks. A person selects a network, such as a school or geographic location, and can then make friends with others in that network. Users attempting to join a school network must submit an email address from that school's domain being allowed to join that school's network. Facebook gained tremendous popularity among high schools and colleges, but is now widely used by adults as well.
Friending: "Friending" describes the act of making friends online through sites such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook. It's easy to make friends on these social networks. You simply send a friend request to someone using the site and ask them to be your friend. Teens often have hundreds of these online friends whom they may or may not know personally. Read "Who Are My Child's Friends" for more information.