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Helping Kids Understand the Consequences of Online Actions

It can be a challenging for parents to talk with their children about the content they post online, especially if parents don’t feel computer-savvy. However, a new document from cyberbully research experts, Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja, may help.

Patchin and Hinduja, directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center, recently released a powerful and concise two-page document titled, “A Student’s Guide to Personal Publishing.” The document recommends students consider five things before posting online:

  1. Audience: Who will read or see the information?
  2. Anonymity: Nothing they post online is truly anonymous.
  3. Permanence: Like it or not, information posted online can stay around for a very long time.
  4. Copyright: It’s illegal to copy others’ work and pass it off as their own.
  5. Free speech: This doesn’t mean they can publish threats or try to ruin another person’s reputation without legal consequences. [1]

iKeepSafe encourages parents to download this document, and then read and discuss it with their children or students. Parents can help their children understand the consequences —both immediate and in the future — of their online actions.


Hinduja, Sameer & Patchin, Justin. A Student’s Guide to Personal Publishing. Retrieved from

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