Digital Just Got Real

When Digital Use...Becomes Abuse

Three of Teens Biggest Threats:


  • Why do teens sext?
  • What reaction do you expect from guys?
  • What reaction do you expect from girls?
  • What are the possible consequences?

If you send a photo or text digitally to someone, you could be sending it to the rest of the world. It just takes one share to spread from there!!

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Did you know...? Posting and sending sexy photos of minors is a violation of child pornography laws. You can end up with a record as a sexual predator and on the sexual registry.
Dangers of Sexting: What Teens Need to Know


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The cruel things you say to someone, whether online or in person, are like mental tattoos - those words can stay etched on a person's psyche FOREVER.
Did you know....? If you are the one harassing another person through text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, or other digital means, your threatening posts can be used against you at the school disciplinary level or even in a court of law. Just because you later try to delete them does not mean the victim has not saved them. Victims have the power to turn over these digital threats to school and local authorities.

What to do if YOU are the one being harassed or bullied online...

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Ryan Halligan Story on Frontline

Catfishing - Avoiding Sexual Predators

Do you really know who you're talking to?
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Manti Te'o, linebacker for Notre Dame and Heisman Trophy runner-up, is now the 'face' of catfishing. Te'o was involved for a few years in an online relationship with a girl named Lennay Kekua. Believing her to have died from leukemia, Te'o told the media of her death, and everyone including Te'o believed the dead girlfriend story until reporters uncovered it was actually a man who'd created and pretended to be the now-dead fictitious girlfriend. He used pictures from the internet and a female cousin's voice to pretend to be Lennay. Te'o was publicly humiliated and many question if he was involved in the hoax.
Manti Te'o Sits Down With Katie Couric

How do you know if an online relationship is real...or fake?

  • if you only ever see still pictures and communicate via written texts/emails/post, the person may not exist
  • if the person avoids any real-time video communication such as Skype-ing or other video communications with you
  • if the person avoids meeting you face-to-face.
  • phone conversations alone can be faked by someone posing as someone else
  • NEVER EVER meet anyone online without telling a parent first and meeting in a very public place, preferably with a friend or family member with you
Did you know...? "In any cyber incident, everything is digitized. The evidence can be tracked and traced. There are always three parties — you, the recipient and Verizon (or another online carrier). Verizon doesn't erase its information. Lies don't last long when they're online." - Parry Aftab, Internet privacy and security lawyer

To learn more about sexting, cyberbullying, catfishing, and how to prevent yourself from being a victim of digital abuse, check out these sites... MTV's A Thin Line - info on forms of digital abuse such as sexting, cyberbullying and digital drama (online rumors and fighting) Common Sense Media - info for parents and students that promotes digital citizenship and addresses cyberbullying, your digital footprint, and social media Netsmartz Internet Safety Kids Health - Teen Internet Safety Catfishing is More Common than You Think Wired Safety - info on cyberbullying, cybercrimes and other aspects of internet safety Cyberbullying Research Center Online Safety including info on sexting, cyberbullying, online predators