Express Your Selfie

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If you’re a parent, educator, youth leader or really anyone who has spent time around teens, this scene is probably familiar: a teen with cell phone in hand, arm extended to take a self-portrait a.k.a. the “selfie.”

This action has become so universal that the Oxford dictionary declared selfie its word of the year in 2013. Yet despite their presence everywhere from Twitter and Snapchat to the Oscars, we remain fascinated by selfies and what they mean for the teens who are taking them.

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Safety Education for Special Needs Children

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. If you have or work with special needs children, consider using these resources from NetSmartz Workshop to help them learn about online and personal safety in a developmentally-appropriate way.

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A NetSmartz Exclusive First Look

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Your favorite Internet safety team – Clicky, Nettie, and Webster – will be back soon with a brand new adventure! Our studio has been working hard on the latest NetSmartzKids animation. The video is the next installment of the Webville Outlaws series, this time with Wanta-Know Wally at the helm.

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Revenge Is Best Served Clothed

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While we warn minors about the consequences of sexting, adults often receive the opposite message. Magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour have portrayed sexting as a way to “keep things fresh,” but with this caveat:

“…it’s best to stick to sending naughty texts to a guy that you’re in a committed relationship with (who you know won’t be shady and pass them on to his friends).”
                           – “Scientists: Sexting Is Totally Normal,” Cosmopolitan  

Unfortunately, even a trusted partner can become “shady” when relationships end. There’s even a name for the sexy images people post of their exes online: revenge porn.

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NetSmartz Celebrates Safer Internet Day!

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Today is Safer Internet Day! In honor of this worldwide event, NetSmartz invites you to join us in spreading this year’s theme – “Let’s create a better Internet together.”

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Virtual Girl Power: Positive Female Characters in Video Games

By the mid-90s, video games were a big part of playtime. Many girls picked up their controllers looking for characters they were familiar with — fantastic versions of the women they looked up to. And many of them came up short. The female characters that were available were often unrealistically drawn, and the awesome ones were rare. Despite this difficult beginning, female characters are now taking their place in this exciting medium.

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Chat with Clicky Live on Twitter!

Every day, Clicky gets hundreds of emails from fans thanking him for teaching them how to be safer online. He also gets hundreds of questions. Children want Clicky to answer everything from “What’s your favorite NetSmartz rap?” to “Why are you a robot?” Now there’s another way for fans to interact with Clicky – on Twitter!

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A Look Back on “NetSmartz Month” in Farmington, New Mexico

Guest blogger Georgette Allen talks about how the Farmington Police Department is addressing their community’s Internet safety concerns. 

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School Resource Officer Booker presents Router’s Birthday Surprise to elementary school students during “NetSmartz Month” in Farmington, NM.

The Internet provides endless educational opportunities for people of all ages. Unfortunately, it also provides opportunities for children to encounter online risks. The Farmington Police Department’s school resource officers (SROs) designated November as “NetSmartz Month” in an effort to combat these Internet dangers.

Approximately 3,000 elementary school students learned about Internet safety during presentations given throughout the month. The goal of the presentations is to equip school-age children with the tools necessary to identify and appropriately deal with potential Internet threats should they arise.

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Happy Holidays from NetSmartz!

Wishing all of our readers a happy holiday season. See you next year!

Be a Hero: Report to the CyberTipline®

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When children first got online, one of our greatest fears was online predators. Then webcams and cell phone cameras became the norm, adding sexting to our list of concerns.

Although we warn children about these risks, they can be difficult to handle. Online predators are masters of tricking children into acting against their better judgment. Sexting may feel necessary to a teen trying to prove his or her love to a significant other. No matter why it happens, when children and their families are faced with these situations, they often need help with the next steps.

That’s where the CyberTipline® comes in.

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