Sexting the new foreplay for teens

Sexting is the new first base.

According to a study published in the journal Paediatrics, sexting is now the first step when it comes to sexual behavior.

“Although additional research is needed, current data indicates that sexting may precede sexual intercourse in the instance and cement the notion that sexting behavior is a viable indicator or adolescent sexual activity,” the report said.

The study, based on a previous 2012 study carried out over six years, set out to examine the “sequencing of sexting and sexual intercourse”.

Researchers looked at data from years two and three of the earlier study, which included a sample of almost 1000 students, who were asked to record their history of sexual activity and sexting.

Sexting was defined as asking or being asked for a nude picture.

Additionally, researchers found “sexting was not temporally associated with risky sexual behaviours.”

So why has sexting become the “gateway” to being sexually active?

It’s common for teens to express themselves sexually, wrote the Quirky kid Clinic.

Teens “do not view semi naked and naked images as wrong or shameful, typically viewing these images as more of an expression of fun and flirtation.”

In her article, Sexting’ is how teens court in modern age, Jill Stark says “Sexting online and via mobile phone is so widespread experts are saying parents should accept it as a form of ‘modern day courtship'”.


You shouldn’t wait for a Facebook prompt to check your privacy

Back in May, Facebook announced that it would eventually roll out a new privacy checkup tool to all its users in an attempt to make sure everyone is giving privacy some much-needed thought.

The privacy checkup consists of three steps:

The first step focuses on the way you share: You may have noticed an audience selector attached to the box where you post updates. For some it is set to friends only, for others it may be set to public. You can always change it, but this setting is intended to make sure the default setting is the way you want it.

The second step focuses on the apps you use with Facebook: Remember that time a

Keeping kids safe online

Online Security

year ago when you granted log-in permissions to that game you no longer play on your iPhone? Yeah, I didn’t think so. But just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean it’s not still active and potentially at risk as a way for your account to be compromised. With this step, you can check the apps that are using your Facebook credentials and delete the ones you no longer use. Spend a few minutes on this step. Please delete whatever you don’t need. You can always go back and re-add them later.

The third and final step allows you to edit personal info and make sure you’re sharing it with the right audience: Things such as where you work and where you live are here. You may be surprised to know how much of this you make public and you may want to tailor that to a more appropriate audience.  This is your chance.

You shouldn’t wait for a Facebook prompt to check your privacy, but unfortunately many users will do just that. With that in mind, you can get to this privacy checkup anytime by clicking on privacy shortcuts in the settings. As I’ve written in this column, so many times before, you should check your privacy on Facebook and all your other social media accounts once every three months at a minimum.

Checklist for 13 years +

Checklist for 13 years +

DON’T think it’s too late to reinforce boundaries or teach your child anything about technology – they might think they have the know-how but they still need your wisdom and guidance

TALK to them about how they might be exploring issues related to their health, wellbeing and body image online – they might come across inaccurate or dangerous information on the Web at a vulnerable time

Discuss how they behave towards others and what they post online and don’t shy away from difficult conversations about things like pornography and other risky behaviors, such as sexting

GIVE your son or daughter control of their own budget for things like apps and music, but make sure you have agreed boundaries so that they manage their money responsibly

DISCUSS things like downloading and plagiarism so that they understand what’s legal and what’s not

ADJUST the settings on Parental Controls in line with your son or daughter’s age and maturity – if they ask you to turn them off completely, think carefully before you do and agree in advance what is acceptable online behavior

Checklist for 10-12 years

Checklist for 10-12 years

MAKE sure you’ve set some tech boundaries before they get their first mobile or games console – once they have it in their hands, it can be more difficult to change the way they use it

REMIND your child to keep phones and other devices well hidden when they’re out and about to minimise the risk of theft

TALK to them about what they post and share online – written comments, photos and videos all form part of their ‘digital footprint’ and could be seen by anyone and available on the Web forever

DISCUSS the kind of things they see online – this is the age when they might be looking for information about their changing bodies and exploring relationships, for example

HOLD the line on letting your son or daughter sign up for services like Facebook and YouTube that have a minimum age limit of 13 – talk to other parents and their school to make sure everyone is on the same page

REMIND them that they shouldn’t do anything online that they wouldn’t do face-to-face

#safetyonline #keepingkidssafeonline #onlinesafety