cyberbullying (191) parents (156) social networking (152) safety (144) resources (138) reputation (132) support (92) monitoring (78) Bullying (71) privacy (64) training (64) sexting (63) research (58) reports (51) texting (44) gaming (35) facebook (34) StandUp (32) reporting (25) suicide (20) app (18) harassment (18) events (17) job (2) jobs (2)

Saturday, December 31, 2022


It is so important that youth and teens, no matter what their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their parents become more aware of the pretexts, tactics, and strategies being used specific to the clear and present threat of online sextortion. As Sun Tzu, a wise and ancient Chinese warrior once stated, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

It has been our experience that there are two categories of sextortion when it comes to youth and teens:

Read more:

Sextortion - The White Hatter

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

New Facebook updates: Those under 16 will have enhanced privacy by default...


Sunday, October 23, 2022

Family Link from Google - Family Safety & Parental Control Tools

Family Link from Google - Family Safety & Parental Control Tools

Every family uses tech differently. Maybe your kid watches TV on Saturday mornings, but you also don’t allow phones at the table. Or screen time stops at 7 p.m., unless they’re reading on a tablet. This week, we announced changes to make family tech better, including easier to find screen time limits and app blocking in Family Link, and approvals and parent-managed watchlists for kids in Google TV.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: Identification, Prevention, and Response

UPDATED for 2022! This detailed guide is a nine-page summary – filled with as much useful information as possible – to equip educators, parents, and other youth-serving adults to spot cyberbullying, respond to it appropriately and meaningfully, and to prevent its future occurrence among those they care for. If you only have time to read one fact sheet from the Cyberbullying Research Center to get up-to-speed about the problem and what you can do, read this one.

Read more and download the report: 

Monday, October 3, 2022

Bullying Prevention: Rise of the UPstander - Savvy School Counselor

When it comes to bullying prevention, being an upstander is one of the best positions to take. Through the years, I’ve really made it a point to teach my students about this position and why it’s such an important one. With Bullying Prevention Month beginning in just a few days, I want to talk about ways to encourage kids to be upstanders.

When your students are learning what a bystander is, use that time to differentiate the bystander from the upstander.

Read more: 

Bullying Prevention: Rise of the UPstander - Savvy School Counselor

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Model Sexting Law - Cyberbullying Research Center

By Justin W. Patchin
September 7, 2022

Tags:  legislation sexting sexting law sexting legislation

In my last post, I discussed what I learned in reviewing all of the state sexting laws across the U.S. Some states have comprehensive sexting laws while many others—23 to be exact—have no sexting specific law whatsoever. As noted in my post, this is problematic for a number of reasons, including the risk that minors who participate in this behavior may be treated by the courts as sexual predators. Even though many prosecutors have generally been using their discretion to circumvent harsh child pornography laws, still others find themselves hamstrung by laws that lack the flexibility to address the behavior with the kind of nuance necessary to accommodate vastly different circumstances.

Read more:

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Instagram: Updates to the Sensitive Content Control

The Sensitive Content Control has only two options for teens: “Standard” and “Less.” New teens on Instagram under 16 years old will be defaulted into the “Less” state. For teens already on Instagram, we will send a prompt encouraging them to select the “Less” experience.

This will make it more difficult for young people to come across potentially sensitive content or accounts in Search, Explore, Hashtag Pages, Reels, Feed Recommendations and Suggested Accounts.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Videos to teach other teens about social media, technology, and adolescent brain development.

UNC-Chapel Hill PSYC 180 students created these videos to teach other teens about social media, technology, and adolescent brain development. #schoolcounseling

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Parent’s Guide to TikTok

TikTok is an entertainment platform that lets people create and share short videos. People love using the platform’s tools, filters, and special effects to combine video, music, and graphics into funny sketches, informational videos, and creative shorts. The app’s users often emphasize quirkiness and novelty, and in that respect, TikTok is helping expand the creative frontier of the internet.

Read more:

Guide to Teen Sextortion Scams

Sextortion Plots Target Teens, Especially Boys 14-17

The FBI has reported a “huge increase” in sextortion scams targeting young people, both from strangers and people they know. Read how to prevent it and recover from it in ConnectSafely's new Guide to Teen Sextortion Scams.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Digital Reputation and Cyberbullying Presentation

Information technology in general, and social networking in particular, affords us tremendous power for communicating and collaborating seemingly at the speed of thought. In a matter of moments, the boundaries between our personal and professional lives can become blurred and the consequences grave. This presentation will help kids to be more intentional about the development and management of their online reputation.

Parents Level Up on Monitoring Their Kids’ Video Games


Parents Level Up on Monitoring Their Kids’ Video Games
Written by Patricia E. Vance, President, ESRB

AUGUST 11, 2021
Every year ESRB conducts a survey to see whether parents are aware of and use the many tools we provide to help them manage their kids’ video game experiences. This is a great opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of how parents use ESRB-assigned age and content ratings, implement household rules, set parental controls, and more. While the country tries to open back up and find a new “normal,” we found many similarities to last year’s survey results as parents take their knowledge about the video games their kids play to the next level.
The latest survey results indicate several key trends.
Read more:

Are Youth Sexting Rates Still on the Rise? A Meta-analytic Update


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

First Phone: A Child's Guide to Digital Responsibility, Safety, and Etiquette

First Phone: A Child's Guide to Digital Responsibility, Safety, and Etiquette Paperback – July 26, 2022  

Cellphones have become a fact of life, with children as young as eight (yes, eight!) getting their very own “devices.” Such boundless access means our kids are in nearly constant contact with technology that was designed specifically for adults. And they’re doing so without any type of road map. Enter First Phone: the essential book that apprehensive parents can confidently hand to their kids to read as they begin their journey into the digital world.

In First Phone, Catherine Pearlman—licensed clinical social worker and parenting expert—speaks directly to eight- to twelve-year-old children about digital safety in a manner that is playful, engaging, and age-appropriate. With insights and strategies supported by the latest research, First Phone offers:

  •  guidance on privacy, boundaries, social media, and even sexting (yes, young children need to learn about sexting before it happens!) 

  •  best digital hygiene and self-care practices, including when to put the darn phone down, when to turn off notifications, and where to charge

  •  how to be a kind and compassionate upstander in a digital world

An essential companion when your child receives their first phone, this book provides kids the tools and information they need while giving their parents peace of mind.  

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Guide to Teen Sextortion Scams

@ConnectSafely guide to Teen Sextortion is out. Numbers are much higher than I would have expected and impact can be devastating. Important reading for #Parents. 

What is sextortion?

Sextortion is a serious crime where someone threatens to distribute nude or compromising images for gain, usually financial or sexual (i.e., wanting more images or contact). Sextortion cases for financial reasons targeting teens, according to former Internet Crimes Against Children Commander Joe Laramie, are on the rise and are often perpetrated by organized crime operating outside the country.

Read more:

Guide to Teen Sextortion Scams - ConnectSafely

Friday, July 15, 2022

TikTok is soon releasing "Content Levels"

TikTok is soon releasing "Content Levels" which will restrict some types of mature content from being viewed by younger users, and another tool to filter out videos w/ certain keywords or hashtags.

"Today, we're announcing new features and technologies that will help viewers customize their viewing preferences and continue to have a safe and entertaining experience on TikTok."

More ways for our community to enjoy what they love | TikTok Newsroom

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

YouTube Alternatives

YouTube is the largest video streaming site out there, but is it the best? Kids are obsessed with watching videos, but with all of YouTube's user-generated content, it's hard to know if they're watching the good stuff or the not-so-good stuff.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

New Tools and Resources for Parents and Teens in VR and on Instagram

"We now have meaningful progress with today's release of some Meta Quest supervision tools. Parents can now disapprove downloads, block certain VR apps, view their child's Friends list & headset screentime, and disable PC content access." Meta

Read more:

Monday, June 6, 2022

PBS FREE KIDS Summer Checklist

Summer is nearly here and it's a great time to explore new things! You and your kids can use this free checklist to think of all the things you want to do this summer as a family.

PBS KIDS Summer Checklist | Kids Coloring Pages | PBS KIDS for Parents

Saturday, June 4, 2022

The Uvalde Shooter Posted Threats on Yubo. What to Know About the App and Others Like It

Until last month, many adults who work in schools had probably never heard of an app nicknamed “Tinder for teens.”

But chilling interactions on that social networking platform—called Yubo—have surfaced between kids around the world and the 18-year-old who killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, last week.

Read more:

Learn more about the app at Common Sense Media

Friday, June 3, 2022

An AI companion?

How might these technologies be helpful to humans, especially kids? How might they be hurtful? And, like current social networks, will we ignore any harmful affects (e.g., anger, depression, and anxiety) even when we know they exist?

Taking a One-Week Break from Social Media Improves Well-Being, Depression, and Anxiety

Taking a One-Week Break from Social Media Improves Well-Being, Depression, and Anxiety: A Randomized Controlled Trial | Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Metaverse: Opportunities, Risks, and Harms by Dr. Sameer Hinduja

We have all been hearing about the metaverse much more frequently over the last few years, and consideration of its promises and perils has picked up tremendous pace in recent months. It is being designed by multiple companies to further connect us to each other and to the experiences we love. And it’s doing so by providing unique, interactive environments for us to explore as avatars or other embodiments of one’s identity online. In truth, it feels like a natural iteration, building on Web 2.0’s flat and largely asynchronous interfaces and combining our favorite features from the history of social media platforms, gaming worlds, extended reality (Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), or a combination thereof), and online transactions.

Read more:

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Remove select personally identifiable info (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search

Remove select personally identifiable info (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search

Google may remove personally identifiable information (PII) that has potential to create significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, harmful direct contact, or other specific harms. This includes doxxing, which is when your contact info is shared in a malicious way. This article is intended to support you through the process to request removal of such content from Google search results.

Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images from Google

From Google Support: 

We recognize it can be distressing when non-consensual sexual content is discoverable in Google search results. We may remove intimate or explicit images and videos that were created or shared without consent. This article is intended to support you through the process to request removal of such content from Google search results.

Monday, April 25, 2022

7 ways for kids to learn about kindness and deal with unkindness

NEW! 7 ways for kids to learn about kindness and deal with unkindness at school, in the neighborhood, and online. Includes a short video, conversation guide, quiz, and activity sheet for educators, parents, and youth. 

Kindness Online for Kids - 2022 | Internet Safety for Kids & Families

Friday, April 15, 2022

Michigan Teen Latest Casualty of Sextortion

Seventeen-year-old Jordan DeMay seemed to have it all going for him: he was handsome, athletic, and was finishing his senior year at Marquette Senior High School in Marquette, Michigan. He was Homecoming King.

When a pretty girl he didn’t know messaged him on Instagram and asked to exchange intimate images, he was skeptical. After a few minutes of messaging, she sent him a photo and asked him to reciprocate. He hesitated, but ultimately acquiesced.

It turns out he was right to be suspicious. Shortly after he sent an explicit photo of himself, the “pretty girl” demanded $1,000 or the image would be sent to all of his online friends. Jordan didn’t have that much money, but agreed to send $300. After the blackmailer received the money, ... 

Read more:

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Meta Family Center: Tools and resources to help support your teen’s online experience

Family Center | Meta

Family Center provides you with tools and resources to help support your teen’s online experience. Teens can invite you to supervise their accounts, giving you a peace of mind while respecting their autonomy. The first version of Family Center now offers supervision on Instagram, with new tools and educational resources to support families, and we'll continue to work with parents and industry experts to introduce more features across Meta technologies.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Comprehensive Kids' Online Safety Legislation (KOSA)

Blumenthal & Blackburn Introduce Comprehensive Kids' Online Safety Legislation

The introduction of the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) follows bombshell reporting & a series of watershed bipartisan hearings revealing Big Tech’s repeated failures to protect children & teens from serious dangers on their platforms

Read more:

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Ask Me Anything: Cyberbullying Expert Sameer Hinduja

Sameer Hinduja, Ph.D., is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center. He is recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work on the subjects of cyberbullying and safe social media use.

Ask Me Anything: Cyberbullying Expert Sameer Hinduja from ConnectSafely on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Social Media Is Sneaking Into Young Kids' Lives, Like It or Not


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Improving Well-Being Online


For Safer Internet Day this year, ConnectSafely spoke to parents, educators and young people across the country to find out what’s on their minds when it comes to online safety and wellbeing in 2022. We took the questions and concerns — and a few of our own — to experts in online safety, parenting, bullying prevention, security, and executives at popular apps like Instagram, TikTok, and Roblox. The results were some great conversations with a wealth of advice and insights. To spark discussion at home and school, each video includes discussion prompts. We hope you’ll find these resources helpful for encouraging positive, productive discussions about online wellness on Safer Internet Day and all year long.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Role of Parents in Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying


Parents and guardians have always had a powerful influence on the behaviors of children, while research is clear that peers tend to have more sway during the teenage years. That said, our new research published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies identifies that certain positive parenting practices have a strong effect on both school bullying and cyberbullying among middle- and high-schoolers in the US. These practices include a surplus of warmthautonomy/support, and structure and a deficit of rejectioncoercion, and chaos.

Read more:

The Role of Parents in Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying - Cyberbullying Research Center

Blog Archive