Social networks: what are the main risks faced by young people and how to protect them

The advent of social networks has radically changed the way people interact with each other and how they consume and share content. What was initially seen as a means to connect with distant friends and relatives has now become an integral part of the daily life of the younger generation.

How young people approach social networks and the risks they run

Today's young people approach social networks in a very different way than previous generations. Growing up in a digital age, they are used to constantly communicating and sharing their lives online. Social media, for them, has become a space to express themselves, build relationships, and find information .

However, with the increase in the use of social networks, there have also come a number of security and privacy risks. Today's young people are often not fully aware of these risks, as they have not had previous experiences that made them aware of how to protect their identity online.

As we can see in ExpressVPN's infographic on the dangers young people face on social media , created on the basis of a survey carried out on around 4,000 young people of the younger generation and their parents, the main dangers young people are likely to encounter when using social media are many.

One of the main risks is cyberbullying , which can have serious emotional and psychological consequences on young people . With the increase in the use of social networks, bullying has become much easier to perpetrate, as the abusers can remain anonymous and, often, out of sight of adults.

Also, young people are often victims of online identity theft. Fraudsters set up fake accounts or steal login credentials to gain access to young people's personal and financial information. This can lead to serious financial consequences as well as privacy and security breaches.

Another risk is exposure to inappropriate content. Young people can easily encounter offensive or inappropriate material, such as pornography, violence or vulgar language, which can damage their moral and mental formation.

Finally, social networking can become an addiction, leading to excessive use of the telephone and technology in general, which can negatively impact the mental and physical health of young people.

social networks

The role of schools and families in protecting young people for the use of social networks

To mitigate these risks, it is important for parents and educators to educate young people about the safe and responsible use of social networks. This includes understanding your risks, protecting your privacy, and managing the privacy settings on your social accounts . Additionally, parents should keep an eye on their children's social media usage and intervene if they notice any inappropriate or worrying behavior.

Schools can also play an important role in educating young people about using social networks responsibly. This could include training on online safety, the consequences of bullying and awareness of the consequences of exposure to inappropriate content.

Young people, in turn, should be educated to protect their identities online and to avoid sharing sensitive personal information, such as addresses, telephone numbers and banking information. Also, they should be educated not to accept friend requests or share information with strangers.

It is also important to promote the importance of respectful and kind communication online, and to avoid behaviors such as cyberbullying and hate speech. Young people should be encouraged to report any inappropriate or intimidating behavior immediately and to speak to trusted adults if they have any problems.

In addition, it should be necessary to limit the use of social networks and encourage young people to find alternative ways of recreation, such as time spent outdoors or face-to-face interaction with friends and family.

However, it is also good to underline the positive role that social networks can have in providing information and promoting education. In fact, young people can use social networks to access news and educational resources, and to participate in meaningful and constructive discussions .

In conclusion, the use of social networks by the new generations presents numerous risks for security and privacy. However, by educating young people about the safe and responsible use of social networks, these risks can be mitigated and a positive and respectful online environment can be fostered. It is important that parents, educators and young people themselves work together to create a safe and healthy online culture for all.

The article Social networks: what are the main risks faced by young people and how to protect them was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .