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Five Tips for Staying Safe on Social Media as a Teenager

Social media has become an core part of teenage life. It offers a place for self-expression, communication, and connection with peers. However, social networking also brings the risk of online threats like cyberbullying, privacy breaches, and exposure to inappropriate content. To help you navigate the digital world safely, here are five tips to guide your online experiences. 

Guard your privacy like your digital identity depends on it (Because it does!)

Be vigilant about protecting your privacy online by doing these three things:

  1. Review and adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts to control who can see your posts, photos, and personal information.

  2. Never share sensitive details such as your home address, school name, phone number, or upcoming travel plans publicly.

  3. Remember that even seemingly harmless information can be used by strangers to track or harm you.

Don’t be lured into believing that a private account is safe, either! People can still screenshot and spread your content. 

Think before you post

Have you ever seen celebrities get shamed for tweets they posted ten years ago? Before hitting the 'share' button, pause and consider. Ask yourself if this is something you would feel comfortable with your parents, teachers, or future employers seeing.

Avoid sharing anything that could come back to haunt you in the future, including inappropriate photos, offensive language, or negative comments about others. Once something is posted online, it's nearly impossible to erase it completely.

Be wary of strangers and suspicious requests

Not everyone online is who they claim to be. Be cautious when interacting with strangers on social media, and never share personal information or meet up with someone you've only met online without getting your parents involved.

Beware of friend requests, messages, or links from people you don't know. These could be attempts to scam, harass, or manipulate you. Trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is.

Practice good digital citizenship and kindness

Social media sometimes creates space for cyberbullying and negativity. Remember that every social media handle represents a real person with feelings, just like you. Treat people with kindness, empathy, and respect online.

Think twice before posting or commenting something that is potentially hurtful, and remember that your words and actions have real-world consequences.

Stand up against cyberbullying by reporting abusive behavior and supporting those who are targeted. In general, strive to create a positive online environment for yourself and others.

Use your instincts to seek help when needed

Educate yourself about online safety and stay informed about the latest trends and threats in social media. Talk to trusted adults, such as parents, teachers, or school counselors, if you ever feel uncomfortable, threatened, or overwhelmed by something you see or experience online.

Remember that you're not alone. There are resources and support available to help you navigate the digital world safely.

Stay Safe on Social Media

Social media offers many opportunities for teenagers to connect and express themselves, but you have to take responsibility for your safety and behavior online. By following these five tips, you can protect yourself from online risks, build positive digital habits, and enjoy a safer and more enjoyable online experience.

Stay vigilant, stay informed, and remember to always think before you click. Your digital well-being is worth it. The LeadYouth social media accounts are a safe place for teens and tweens to connect and learn. Follow us on Instagram, Threads, or X.


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