Who can see your teen's blog?

Cyberspace is a vast uncharted and unprotected territory, and blogs are a part of that world. There is no way of telling where your messages and personal information will end up and no way to totally wipe that information off the map. Teens do a lot of their socializing online, and they need to be aware of the dangers and pitfalls of open-ended social networks and blogs.

When teens post personal information on blogs or social network sites, the information could travel much farther than they ever intended. The Internet can be a great way to learn, do research and communicate, but the concerns about privacy and safety are not to be taken lightly. There is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet, except if you take the appropriate measures to limit your exposure. Everything you write is public unless you apply privacy features to control access by others. That is the only way to keep the faceless and unfortunately omnipresent predators away. There are dangerous elements just waiting to log on and communicate with innocent victims. Teens need to be aware of the level of exposure that the Internet enables, and they should use the restrictions they have available. Once the doors are closed to strangers, teens can communicate with their friends and family without fear for their personal safety.

Restricting access is only one safety measure. Teens should also be careful about what messages and pictures they post, because once it's out in cyberspace you can't take it back. Anyone with access, even the best of friends, can do with it what they want; copy, save and even send it to others. Teens should think before they post, to avoid the chance of old messages causing future embarrassment or being held against them in other circumstances.