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Use the internet to scope out anyone who wants to date you — or just talk to you — and you'll be able to ask more informed questions and find out quickly if they're for real or not." Check out their Facebook and see if you have any friends in common to help you feel safe in proceeding.
Do your digital due diligence before opening your heart.
And what about the perils of sexting -- texting with sexual overtones and often imagery?
Kids need to understand online safety issues and learn the dos and don'ts of "cyberdating." But researcher and author Danah Boyd, Ph D, says it's just as important that they tackle technology now.
Currently, the online world is witnessing heaps and heaps of innovations that can trick you to give out your information. Imagine your beloved Instagram, Facebook or Twitter account in a pervert's hands, even if for a few minutes? Keep off these identity theft crosiers by adopting the two-step login process.
No creep will befriend you and abuse or intimidate you at the same time.
The major difference here is that an internet relationship is sustained via computer or online service, and the individuals in the relationship may or may not ever meet each other in person.
Rather than having many devices for different uses and ways of interacting, communicating online is more accessible and cheaper by having an Internet function built into one device, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
Your seventh-grade son wants to join a social network to swap skateboarding tips with his pals.
Your daughter in high school doesn't hang out at the mall with her girlfriends like you once did -- she's too busy posting selfies with them on Instagram. Is it a good idea to instill your fears in your kids about the dangers of sexual predators on the Internet, and the possibility of permanently writing their adolescent wrongs, searchable forever, online?
School your kids about behaving safely when online with these tips from Boyd: Encourage technology.
"The key is to create digital training wheels when kids are younger and to offer more freedom in the teenage years, so when they leave home they make responsible decisions." Acknowledge the pluses. "Many youth who have grown up with technology use that distance as young professionals to navigate difficult discussions with bosses, or otherwise navigate conflict in new ways." Open up worlds for your child.