As a teenager today, you will undoubtedly have grown up with tech. Since you have been using tech since you were very young, you probably think that you know it all when it comes to using technology safely and effectively, but you know what? There is always something new to learn, especially where technology is concerned.
With that in mind, here are some top tips to help you stay safe and get the most out of the technology you use each and every day:
Social media can be a lot of fun and it can be very tempting to post just about every thought that goes through your head or every great photo you take, but before you do that pause for a second snd think about whether you really want it to be out there. Even if you later decide to delete a post, someone could already have taken a screenshot or archived it in some way which means it might not actually be gone forever, So, stay safe by thinking very carefully and never posting anything that is too private.
Join your local library
You might think that joining your local library is a bit too low-tech and unnecessary in the 21st century, but you would be dead wrong. These days, most libraries give free access to ebooks and audiobooks which you can download on your own devices from the comfort of your own home, which means you can get loads of free content simply by being a member.
Keep the warranty
If you’re like a typical teen, when you get a new phone, tablet, or MacBook, you will almost immediately throw the box and any of its contents that aren’t your new device and charger away. This is a big mistake. It’s always useful to keep the warranties so that,m should something go wrong with your new tech, you can get it fixed free of charge, or at least for a cheaper price should your device still be in warranty. You may even get a free replacement if, for instance, the battery is a fault or the screen is broken, and you know how easy it is for accidents to happen when you’re having a good time!
Do a digital detox
It might feel like your phone contains your whole life, but the fact of the matter is, there is life outside of your devices and it can be a whole lot more fulfilling than the life inside your smartphone. If you want to maintain a healthy balance, then, it can be good to do a digital detox one day a week or month, where you switch off completely and hike, hang out with friends, read a book, or whatever makes you happy and more peaceful
In fact, if you can manage to switch your phone off for a few hours before bed each night, it will be easier to wind down, get stuff done, and ultimately get a good night’s sleep, so you might want to consider that too.
Be a creator rather than a consumer
The internet is endlessly entertaining but if you are spending all of your time online consuming then you are really missing out. Sure, it’s fun to watch your favorite vlogger show off her latest makeup haul or stream your favorite gamer on Twitch, but if you use the internet to learn new things, whether that be how to mount google drive on mac for instant access to your cloud storage, or how to crochet, then you will pick up valuable skills that could help you in life. If you create your own videos, stories, or tutorials, it could even help you to earn money right now, as well as potentially helping you to get a job in the future, too. Consuming is fine, but creating can be even more rewarding, just remember that.
Remember you can be anybody online
It’s always useful to remember that people on the internet can assume any identity they like, so if you are talking to people who you do not know in real life, you should always be very cautious and take everything they say with a pinch of salt. If you feel uncomfortable at all., block them and talk to an adult who you trust, and never agree to meet anyone who you do not know in the real world, especially alone.
Influencers are selling something
It’s also worth remembering that online influencers are doing what they do to try and sell you stuff. That does not mean that they are not good people or that they do not genuinely love the things they claim to but many of them will be presenting themselves in a certain way or talking up a certain product because they want you to buy it so that they can make money. So, while it’s fine to enjoy watching influencers, don’t let them make you feel inferior if you don’t look like them or have all of the things they have because they will get a lot of help with hair and makeup and lots of free products as part of their job and they will only ever show you the very best parts of their lives, not the stuff they would rather change.
Strengthen your passwords
It’s so easy for cybercriminals to hack into everything from your social media to your bank accounts, which is why, if you are doing anything online, you need to create strong unique passwords, which are ideally made up of a random string of numbers, letters, and characters. Your passwords for each separate account should be totally different too, if possible. There are lots of apps, Like these Password Managers, that can keep track of them for you, so this need not be such a chore.
Technology makes life so much easier for us all in so many ways, but it does have its downsides too That’s why you need to stay vigilant, interact with technology on your terms, and switch off now and again!
For more on tech, check out these sites:
This is a great site that has online games, information on careers, and SCHOLARSHIPS for teens interested in tech, https://www.cyberstartamerica.org
and this one has several links to lots of government and non-profit resources, https://www.cisecurity.org/insights/blog/6-educational-cybersecurity-resources-for-kids
These are just two sites, but there are many more resources, we hope these help!