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This resource is contribution from a teenager who found the information helpful.
A Teens Guide to Cyber Security
Social networks provide us with the opportunity to say connected with our friends and loved ones at all times of the day and night and across long distances. There can, however, be a price to pay for spending so much time online. Security can be compromised, old posts can come back to haunt us, and we may be the target of harassment if we don’t protect ourselves from cyberbullying. Teenagers are especially susceptible to these threats, as they tend to use social networks every day. If you’re a teen and wondering how you can keep yourself safe on the Internet, know that a few changes in your habits can help you ensure a protected online life.
Social networks can be a great place to connect with people, but they can also make teenagers vulnerable because of the information that is typically shared on them. Many social networks have privacy settings that will help you control who can access your profile and information and who can interact with you. Turn off any location services that social media sites offer to protect your whereabouts. Create strong passwords comprised of random letters and numbers, update apps when new versions become available, keep your online circle of friends limited to people you trust, and use the block feature or report bullying as soon as you experience harassment. Some platforms, like Snapchat, may seem like safe places to share because messages can disappear after a set amount of time, but people can still take screenshots, capturing messages and posts even when they’re intended to disappear from the site.
Internet Safety Quiz (PDF)
Messenger apps like Kik can introduce teens to other like-minded individuals within seconds. Conversations can start and friendships can easily begin, but the same safety procedures should be followed when using messenger apps as when communicating online. Security can depend on creating a random user name that is not similar to your real name and avoiding sharing details about yourself that are too personal. Avoid sharing information such as your location and age.
Sexting is a growing problem among teenagers, with many young people feeling pressure to share sexually explicit images with friends or strangers every day. Consider downloading and using apps that will help you combat online sexual advances. The Send This Instead app, for example, can help you fend off peers who pressure you to send sexually explicit messages. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a tipline you can call in case you come across someone on the Internet who sends you explicit material or attempts to take advantage of you. Remember that reporting instances of this type of sexual harassment could save the life of a child even younger than you, so don’t hesitate to file a report as soon as an incident occurs.
Since everything that you do online can be seen later by your parents, friends, and even future employers, it’s important to stay on top of how you come across on social media. You can protect your reputation and keep your digital footprint clean by regularly looking over your online profiles, running Internet searches to see which websites have archived information about you, and checking your privacy settings. If you find that your Internet past includes embarrassing or potentially harmful content, delete or deactivate profiles and change your Internet habits; remember that you can help clean up your digital footprint by simply thinking about what you’re posting online. Security can depend on keeping your profile generic, with as little personal information on it as possible, and avoiding sharing anything that you wouldn’t want everybody to see.
Unfortunately, the anonymous and consequence-free environment that the Internet offers can encourage people to engage in harassment and bullying. To keep your online space peaceful, resist posting any photos that could be interpreted as sexual. Don’t share profiles or give your passwords to others, and log out of public computers to reduce the chances that someone will use your profile to post things without your consent. If you find yourself a victim of cyberbullying, don’t engage with your attackers, as it could make the situation worse; instead, keep records of any messages, texts, or emails that you’ve received from cyberbullies and report the activity to site administrators. Reach out to parents and other trusted adults, like teachers, for help and support if the harassment gets worse and laws are being broken.
Please visit https://www.hotspotshield.com/resources/teens-guide-to-cyber-security/ for further information.
We were delighted to have been asked by a Secondary School to facilitate workshops to all 1st Year Students, Parents and Teachers on the issue of Transitioning from Primary to Secondary School with a Focus on Self-Harm. We felt that it was extremely successful and would like to thank all that participated.
Great article in The Irish Independent on ‘We as parents need to eductate ourselves and teach boundaries’. Please click on link below to view article.
ONE IN FOUR ASKS “HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING ABOUT CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE?”
NOVEMBER 13TH 2014
The Dail debate yesterday on the sexual abuse of Mairia Cahill highlights yet again the enormous
challenges facing survivors of child sexual abuse in this country in accessing support and justice.
That yet again it took the decision of a remarkable, courageous survivor to speak publicly about her
ordeal to force our political leaders to confront the reality of sexual abuse in Irish society. Executive
Director Maeve Lewis says: “ The story unfolded in a manner with which we are now familiar: the
initial denial by Sinn Fein leadership that they had previous knowledge of Mairia Cahill’s abuse,
followed by the drip feed of information and then the tardy acceptance of the veracity of the
survivor’s account of events. Mairia Cahill has described how distressing this process has been for
her, but it has also caused immense suffering to other survivors of abuse, regardless of the context
in which that happened. People have been phoning One in Four describing their intense suffering as
memories of their own abuse are retriggered.”
“This underlines the need for each one of us to take responsibility for information that we become
aware of regarding a risk to children and to pass that information to child protection services and to
the Gardaí. The reality is that one in four Irish people experience sexual violence, and that cycle will
continue until we intervene decisively. It is only five years since the entire country was appalled by
the revelations of institutional abuse in the Ryan Report and there have been a number of high
profile Reports since then. The common theme across all the Reports and in Mairia Cahill’s account
is that people knew and failed to take appropriate action, compounding the survivors’ hurt. “
“It may be useful to hold an Inquiry into the sexual abuse of children within the Republican
movement. However, we need to be careful not to put undue pressure on other survivors to come
forward if, as it appears, many of them are frightened to do so. But what is equally important is that
we take a decision in this country to finally prioritise the protection and well-being of children.
Despite all the handwringing at every level, we still do not have a well-resourced child protection
service. Services for children who have been recently abused are almost non-existent and services
for adult survivors struggle to meet the needs of people seeking help in a timely way.”
Maeve Lewis ends: “As we approach the centenary of 1916, we will have little to celebrate if we are
not cherishing the children of the State but actually accepting on-going sexual abuse. Have we
Working with adolescents requires different skills and it is important that psychotherapists and counsellors have training in this area. Adolescents developmentally and cognitively are different to adults and applying adult therapeutic practices to adolescent issues does not work well.
However, many psychotherapists and counsellors do not have specific training. In fact research carried out in Ireland stated that 27% of psychotherapists/counsellors who worked with adolescents/children had no formal training and only almost half had attended specific child psychotherapy, play therapy or creative arts courses.
The issue of child and adolescent psychotherapy has been debated at an European and Irish level and regulations are soon to be introduced by Europe whereby in order to work with adolescents then a two year specific adolescent training is required. This adolescent training will be in addition to the initial 4 year Psychotherapy core training.
At Leinster Adolescent Psychotherapy and Counselling Centre (LAPCC) we have kept abreast of the regulations and our psychotherapists and counsellors have already completed a specialised adolescent qualification through the Blackfort Gestalt Institute. We are fully qualified to work with children/adolescents from age 11 years upwards. If you would like to discuss this with us then please contact us directly us through our website www.lapcc.ie.
There has been so much in the press about adolescents and mental health. If you would like to talk to a psychotherapist or counsellor at LAPCC in confidence then please contact us directly.
October 16th & 17th 2014
We had a great time facilitating the retreat in association with Blackfort Adolescent Gestalt Institute on Lough Derg with the 6th year students of Loreto College, St Stephens Green. It was interesting to learn further about the use technology in young people’s lives and the values that are important to them. We hope to be facilitating similar workshops soon.