Here’s some tips for children:

  1. Never give out your full name or physical address. The less information about you on social networks the better.
  2. Ensure that you use the maximum amount of privacy and only invite/accept friends that you actually know in the real world.
  3. When someone posts a nasty comment on your social networking profile, delete it and remove/block them so they cannot do it again.
  4. When someone talks to you about sexually explicit topics, stop talking and block them.
  5. Tell your parents about anything unusual so they can help you deal with it.

Here’s some tips for parents:

  1. Sit with your child and ask them to show you around the social networks they use.
  2. Talk to your child about posting to many photos on the social networking sites because this puts them at greater risk from predators.
  3. Encourage your children to talk openly about anyone who is stalking or harassing them online so you can help them through it.
  4. Place limits on the amount of time you child spend on the Internet e.g. between 8am-8pm during the week or limited airtime on cellphones.
  5. Use technology as a source of conversation over the dinner table to show your children you are interested in their world.
  6. Don’t let technology be a substitute for parenting or experience. Spend time with your children doing other activities so they can learn how to do them and in the process bond with you.
  7. Do your best to avoid violent computer games for your children because this conditions them to become desensitised to the same acts in the real world.

Ramon Thomas is a available for a motivational talk on the psychology of technology and social media for parents, teachers and learners.