1. Why should early teens not give out any personal information online?

I would like to say that I think teens can give their personal details out on line if they have asked the adults in their life if it is all right. I think we must also distinguish between ages here a 13 year old giving their information out is different to a 18 year old who needs to speak to someone about a job for example.  So it’s not that they shouldn’t, it’s that they shouldn’t without permission when they are younger or if the person requesting them is asking a reasonable request when they are older.

Giving personal information out to someone they don’t know or in circumstances where they are not required could make them vulnerable to many things including scams, fraud etc:

Yes there are clearly the “danger” that it could make them vulnerable to attack – if they let someone know where they live or what school them go to but these are exceptional.

I just think often we don’t talk about the more likely things that could go wrong.

 

  1. How can girls spot an online groomer?

To be honest you can’t and it’s that simple. There are things you could do for example ask who they know that you know etc: but you can never tell and most are so good at what they do it is hard to tell.  If you are been asked to do something that you are uncomfortable with on-line that would be a sure sign that perhaps something wasn’t right and you needed to protect yourself.

 

  1. What should you do if someone who you met online wants to meet up with you?

My first reaction is just don’t do it but I am well aware that most young people do meet boyfriends and girlfriends this way and everything is fine. If you are able speak to your parents or an adult as their judgment may be helpful to you.  If you do want to meet them and you know they are who they say they are, suggest you meet in a crowded place and take a friend with you. Always make sure your phone is charged and that someone else knows where you are.  Also don’t assume just because you met them once all will be fie the next time. Suggest meeting like this a few times until you trust them and then perhaps invite that person to your house.

I know a lot of people say never meet however I think this advice doesn’t help a teen if they believes and trust this person.  I think we also need to be giving them a plan, they should discuss it with friends and family often others opinions and judgement really help them make a decisions.