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Texting was yesterday! Most kids with smartphones today use free services like WhatsApp to stay in touch with each other. This is extremely convenient, because it means you no longer run the risk of being surprised by an excessive cell phone bill at the end of the month.
Unfortunately, WhatsApp only works as long as you are connected to the Internet. Because the Internet basically brings some security gaps with it and is not without danger for kids, we have put together some tips for you today on how to use WhatsApp properly without putting yourself in danger. This way you can take advantage of the colorful messenger without your parents having to worry.
Tip No.1: Privacy Has Top Priority
If you’ve already read some of our articles, you probably already know that we consider privacy a very important asset worth protecting. By Privacy means that not everyone has to know everything about each other. Everybody has secrets, sometimes wants to be alone and needs privacy for that. This also applies to the Internet. That’s why social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp have their own privacy settings. If you use them, the risk of being spied on is no longer quite so great. However, there is never 100% security on the Internet!
WhatsApp and privacy – a very own, difficult topic. Unfortunately, it has become known in the meantime that WhatsApp has data leaks again and again, whereby people get hold of users’ data who should not actually have access to it.
This is because WhatsApp accesses the contacts in your phone’s address book. In this way, it checks whether your friends also use WhatsApp. This way, you can immediately start writing to them via WhatsApp as soon as you have installed the app. However, this has a serious disadvantage for you. This is because all WhatsApp users that you have saved in your address book will see that you also use WhatsApp.
However, it is far more annoying and dangerous when you are added to a group. This means that your phone number is immediately displayed to all group members. This can include people you don’t even know. It goes without saying that this is not without risk.
Protect yourself and your privacy by not showing your status to everyone. Not everyone needs to know when you were last online in WhatsApp. You can change this setting under the options.
Tip No. 2: Nude Photo And Sexting Do Not Have To Be
At a certain age, it becomes interesting for teenagers to flirt with others via the Internet. Even if it’s your own sweetheart you’re sending a sexy picture to: You never know who he or she will show it to. In the worst case, it may even be forwarded or published elsewhere on the Internet.
Even if you just want to compare your body with friends, you should refrain from sending nude pictures. It is too easy for these pictures to fall into the wrong hands. It is not even necessary that your friends share the picture. Through security gaps, which hackers cleverly exploit, they can get hold of the private image material. What they then do with it, no one really knows. Only when your picture appears on the Internet will you realize with what intention the hacker stole your picture. By then, however, it will be too late to do anything about it.
So please don’t send nude pictures on the Internet if you can’t live with the fact that everyone can see the picture because it was uploaded to Facebook and some stupid comments are posted under it.
Do you know what Sexting means? It means erotic chatting from your cell phone or PC. People exchange intimate details, heat each other up and maybe even send pictures. Just like sending photos, sexting is not something harmless. Via screenshot, you can photograph the messages, share them and publish them.
You can’t know if your ex will eventually want to get one over on you and upload these things to the Internet. Therefore, no matter how great the love is. Trust is good, control is better. That’s why it’s better to refrain from sexting.
Tip No. 3: How To Use The Group Chat Properly
You can easily create groups in WhatsApp. So it is possible to write with up to 50 people at the same time. So all members can read all the messages that are exchanged. This is very practical if you are planning an event or are in a club.
However, you should make sure that the members of the group actually know each other. This is because group members can see each other’s contact details and therefore phone numbers. This can lead to conflicts and misunderstandings.
Of course, anyone can leave the group chat on their own and prevent being added again. If someone has added you to a group where you don’t know most of the people, please contact the group administrator and talk to them about it.
Tip #4: Whistle. Why You Don’t Need To Be “On” All The Time
The cell phone is always with you. Almost everyone has a smartphone with Internet access that rings and beeps every few minutes. SMS, WhatsApp messages, e-mails and other notifications trickle in every minute. That can really get on your nerves. At the beginning, you might still enjoy all the texting. But at some point it can become exhausting to be available to everyone at all times.
At the latest when you have to justify yourself for not writing back right away, WhatsApp can become unpleasant. Remember, you really don’t have to be “on” all the time. If you feel like it, turn off your phone’s internet feature or uninstall those apps you find unnecessary and annoying.
Tip #5: Make Your Own Decisions
Kids are often under pressure to give in to the demands of their peers. If everyone has WhatsApp and you’re constantly being asked why you don’t want to use it too, you’ll eventually give in.
But that doesn’t have to be the case! It’s not uncool if you don’t want to use an app even though everyone else does. Even adults don’t let their friends tell them what to do and what not to do. You yourself get to decide which services you want to use and which you don’t. If you’re sick of the constant buzzing of WhatsApp messages, just uninstall it. You don’t have to answer to anyone.
Because if your friends want to reach you, they can do it via SMS or phone call. Both are perfectly sufficient to stay in touch. If possible, you should meet the people who are really important to you regularly in real life anyway. Then it won’t happen so easily that you exceed your credit for SMS.
Especially if you have already been a victim of cyberbullying and have suffered from spy attacks in the past, you should rather not use WhatsApp.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
2) How to use group chat properly? What should you keep in mind?
3) Why should you refrain from sending nude pictures or sexting with other teenagers?