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Teen Internet Addiction, Internet Predators and Online Identity Theft: Cyberspace Today
In today’s society, the internet can be a valuable asset and educational tool, as well as a dangerous attraction and lethal weapon. Many teens are turning to social networking sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter to make friends, mingle, and more. An unfortunate reality is that potential predators can also sign up and chat with your kids. As seen in Dateline’s Series “To Catch A Predator,” many kids are preyed upon by adults (both young and old), which can lead to trouble for all involved, especially the children. Blogging and social networking are many teens’ ways of communication which can be entertaining and fun; yet, if they are not careful, it can also be unsafe.
Teen Internet Addiction Warning Signs:
- You suffer from anxiety. You may use the internet to distract yourself from your worries and fears. An anxiety disorder like obsessive-compulsive disorder may also contribute to excessive email checking and compulsive internet use.
- You are depressed. The Internet can be an escape from feelings of depression, but too much time online can make things worse. Internet addiction further contributes to stress, isolation, and loneliness.
- You have any other addictions. Many internet addicts suffer from other addictions, such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, and sex.
- You lack social support. Internet addicts often use social networking sites, instant messaging, or online gaming as a safe way of establishing new relationships and more confidently relating to others.
- You’re an unhappy teenager. You might be wondering where you fit in and the internet could feel more comfortable than real life.
- You are less mobile or socially active than you once were. For example, you may be coping with a new disability that limits your ability to drive. Or you may be parenting very young children, which can make it hard to leave the house or connect with old friends.
- You are stressed. While some people use the internet to relieve stress, it can have a counterproductive effect. The longer you spend online, the higher your stress levels will be.
An educated parent is better equipped to help limit potential danger of Internet predators and online identity theft.
At P.U.R.E.™ we promote parent awareness to help you, as parents, to protect your children’s identity and your privacy online. Cyberspace can be a dangerous place for people that are not familiar with potential scams and predators.
P.U.R.E.™ invites you to fill out a free consultation form for more information on finding the appropriate help for your teen.