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Teach kids to use tech wisely

Q. I’m putting together a computer training course for parents and teens. Part of the course will be about staying safe online. What topics do you think I should cover? Thanks for your input!
-Jane from Roswell, NM, listens to my national radio show on KBIM 910 AM

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A. Every child needs to be taught how to use tech the right way. Unfortunately, many parents are unprepared for the task. They’re often struggling to understand the latest gadgets and gizmos. They’re not aware of all the dangers that technology presents.

Far too often I hear from parents when it’s too late. It’s only when Little Johnny or Janey gets in trouble that they reach out for help.

Of course, we hear a lot about kids getting in trouble with the Internet and cellphones. They get suspended from school for comments they’ve posted online. They use their cellphones to send nude pictures of themselves. And they bully their classmates online.

The effects are often immediate. But they can also be long-lasting. That’s because anything posted online never truly goes away. Future employers could potentially see all the careless Facebook comments and risque photos.

Fortunately, you can teach teens to be smart with technology. You need to start by talking to them about the risks. Pull stories from the news. It’s a great way to have the point hit home.

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