In my last blog I talked about a story that was on Dr. Phil’s show this week “Ask about the Internet.” It was about a man who had been deceived by a woman he met online. Well this show had another segment that emphasized other types of online dangers.
This was about a 17-year-old girl who was the victim of a false Facebook profile that was set up. Someone had created a Facebook page that was supposed to be of her which included nude photographs. Now these nude pictures weren’t really of her but the idea that others would think it was her was very disconcerting to say the least.
While we know that identity theft is a big issue, with the internet we also have the online danger of being impersonated by someone else.
This fake page became a nightmare for this young woman as the person who falsely created the page put her real phone number, address and the name of her school in the contact information. She began to receive calls from men who were interested in her because of the pictures they had seen.
The phone calls then turned into men actually showing up at her door. There were times that men would sit outside her house waiting for her to come home. Needless to say it became a very scary situation.
Unfortunately, for this 17-year-old girl her nightmare hasn’t ended yet and they are struggling to get authorities to do something about this.
The reality is that our children face online dangers that are scarier than the things I used to face when I was a child. I remember when I was young the big thing was to never take candy from a stranger. Stranger danger has been taken to a whole new level with the internet.
While you may not be able to control what someone else does, you can discuss some of the online dangers that are out there so your teen is aware. It is also a good idea to explain to them that you expect them to be responsible with their online activities.
Getting back at someone by creating a false profile is a terrible thing to do. While we want to protect our teens, we also need to be teaching them about appropriate online behavior.
Be aware of online dangers. Discuss online dangers with your teen and know what your teen is up to on the internet.