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Teenager Online Dating Safety Tips

The world has gone digital, today it's believed that a great majority of people will come across someone to date on the Web than off. This trend is also showing up with teenage online dating. Many adults would argue that kids are in school and have part time jobs so they have countless chances to meet someone to date right in their own backyard. Whether you think online dating is appropriate for your teen or not, the naked truth is that your teen is very likely already meeting new people online, so it might be good if you check up on their actions so you can help keep them safe.

Needless to say, no matter what your age, the most obvious benefits to internet dating is the chance to meet people that you may never have had the opportunity to meet in real life. You can meet people from pretty much anywhere in the on the planet and most any social background. As fate would have it the disadvantage is that you don't really know who you're talking to. That youngster from the next town could actually be a 40 year old from your community. That's why it's so important to teach your teen how to be secure online.

Here are some teenagers online dating safety tips to instill in your teenager, and this is the time to not worry about repeating yourself:

1. Remind them that they don't really know who they're talking to so, they shouldn't give out any personal information such as their address, phone number, name of their school, what kind of car they drive, the name of the mall they hang out in, etc. Any or all of this nominally] innocent information could be all the information a pedophile needs to come into physical contact with your teen.

Here's a case in point: there was a story not long ago about a boy chatting with another 'kid' online. He was pretty careful to not give away too much information but he did blurt out the name of his school. In another conversation, weeks later, he mentioned that he and some friends were going to the local mall. The 'kid' he was chatting with online was an undercover police officer and he used this 'innocent' information to monitor the kid he'd been conversing with when he was at the mall with his friends.

Talk about scary, it's a good thing that it was a police officer and not a predator. That teen learned a very important lesson that day, and you need to tell your kids about this story so they can too... a predator can use the most innocent information to find them.

2. If your adolescent and their online friend think that they'd like to meet, try to talk with them on the phone first, this way it will be much harder to lie to you about who they really are and how old they are. Also never, ever, let them meet anyone from online until they tell you about it. Once they've told you about it, the two of you can find out the safest way to meet their new internet friend (hint, it won't be anywhere near your home or school).

Whether we like it or not, teenage web based dating is definitely here to stay. Instead of fighting it (which is likely to just encourage your kids to do it behind your back) talk to your youngster about the good and the bad of online dating. Make sure they know how to protect themselves and let them know that they can always come to you if they feel awkward about something that has unfolded.

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