The dangers of online hookup

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - The dangers of online hookup

Despite the widespread prevalence of the online hookup culture today, there are ways to protect your teens from crossing the line. The Internet, even though an extraordinary connectivity tool, brings with it a host of issues, especially for adolescents who are not aware of its dark side. Often, excessive use of social media platforms and online forums can also lead to cybersex addiction. Therefore, it becomes imperative for parents to educate their children about the dangers of online hookup.

The following are some steps you can follow to protect your child from the dangers of online hookup:

Centrally placed computer

First off, keep the computer in the living room (or any other central area at your home) to keep a vigilant eye on what your kid is doing online. In addition, set some ground rules as to when your child can use their computer or smart phone. Most importantly, do not let your teenage keep a personal smart phone and what they do on that device private, no matter how much they insist.

Monitoring software

Install software to block explicit or risky websites and chat rooms to protect your children. Similarly, you can also invest in a recording program to record and monitor the data that has been downloaded or sent.

Talk about chat room hazards and safety

Perhaps the best approach to dealing with unnecessary problems is by talking it out. Maintain an open dialogue with your child about the risks and serious repercussions associated with online chatting. Your child must learn that not everyone they meet online is who they say they are. For this reason, they should inform you of any inappropriate material that they have come across on their social networking site.

If you find your child still logging on to random chat sites, in spite of your thorough instructions to them, you need to get to the root of the problem. In this regard, have a heart-to-heart conversation with them to understand the reason behind their behavior.

Teach your child about privacy

Educate your child about adopting safe practices while using their social media accounts. Let them know that they should never, under any circumstances, share their personal details, including pictures, home address, password and telephone number with any stranger online. Your child must be aware that such information makes them an easy target for online thieves, apart from online pedophiles.

As a matter, it is advisable to ask your adolescent to help you activate your own social network profile. In this way, you can work together and learn about the privacy settings of various social media networks.

Social networking websites, such as Facebook, might seem harmless, but a large proportion of adolescents use it to hook up with other users. If you find your child engaging in questionable behavior online, you need to talk with them immediately. But, if the problem has gotten out of hand, it is best to consult with a professional at STAR Guides. Based in Utah, we offer a complete wilderness therapy program to help adolescents and young adults address internet porn addiction, among other forms of addictions. Click here to seek access to our tech, porn addiction and sex addiction counseling.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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