An examination of messages in Youth Internet Safety Education programs

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This article presents a critical examination of the messages in youth internet safety education programs, informed by research on the dynamics of internet dangers and the efficacy of youth prevention education.

Educational programs examined in this study included those targeting cyberbullying, online sexual exploitation, sexting, online fraud, online self-harm promotion and internet overuse or addiction. The researchers found certain mismatches between messaging in these programs and findings from research studies in these areas. Their results also suggest that integrating messages about online safety into programs addressing related off-line harms can be valuable.

Finkelhor D, Walsh K, Jones L, Mitchell K, Collier A. Youth Internet Safety Education: Aligning Programs With the Evidence Base. Trauma Violence Abuse. 2020; doi:10.1177/1524838020916257