Internet Safety

We know that parenting is a challenging job.  Navigating the use of computers, the internet and social media makes the role far more challenging. Here are resources to help you navigate parenting in our digital age.

Common Sense Media                     American Academy of Pediatrics

Scholastic                                             Online Safety for Teens

The following resource is from TikTok:

What are online challenges?

Online challenges or dares typically involve people recording themselves doing something difficult, which they share to encourage others to repeat. Some promote harmful behaviors and can lead to serious injury.

Some challenges are hoaxes. A hoax is a lie intentionally planted to trick people into believing something that isn’t true. Hoaxes relating to sexual assault or suicide and self-harm challenges are particularly harmful. If you are worried that someone may be at risk of self-harm or suicide, take a look at the resources on suicide and self-harm listed here.

For parents, guardians, and educators

Check out the Guardian’s guide to Tik Tok here

Anyone can join in an online challenge. But because adolescence is a phase of experimentation, online challenges can be very appealing. At the same time, teens don’t always have the same skills to weigh the risk.

Talking with your teen about online challenges is really important. Let them know you get they may be curious about online challenges and you’re open to talking, listening and learning with them.

Help them spot risks, consider consequences and make safe choices. The four-step process  (stop, think, decide, act) is a simple way to get teens to think about risk.

Challenges are popular because they offer some positive opportunities such as testing physical limits, making others laugh or being creative. If your teen asks about a particular challenge, chat with them about why the challenge appealed and explore other ways to meet their interest or need.

What does my teen do if they see an online challenge?

STOP: Pause a moment.

THINK: Is it safe? Is it harmful? Is it real? If you’re unsure, check with an adult or friends, or look for more information from authoritative sources online.

DECIDE: If it’s risky or harmful, or you’re not sure if it is, don’t do it. It’s not worth putting yourself or others at risk.

ACT: Report harmful challenges or hoaxes in-app. Don’t share them.

Take a moment

Assessing online challenges can be difficult. If you see a video, pause for a moment to think about what you’ve seen, how it made you feel and how you want to respond. Ask yourself these questions:

Is it Safe?

When thinking about whether a challenge is safe for you or others, ask yourself:

  • What could have gone wrong?
  • Does the person doing the challenge have specialist skills or training?
  • Does it look like they did anything to minimize risk?
  • Are the things they did to minimize risk available to you?
  • How confident are you that you or others wouldn’t get hurt?

If you decide the challenge is too risky, or you’re not sure, don’t do it.

Is it Real?

If you see a challenge or viral warning, be alert to the possibility that it may be a hoax or a rumor that has gained momentum. Ask yourself:

  • Is the challenge or dare something people are actually doing or is it a joke?
  • If it’s a viral warning, does it come from a credible source?
  • Is it something I want to spread?

Should I report it?

Yes. TikTok removes content that features dangerous, harmful or criminal behaviors. They report that they also remove videos that discuss dangerous challenges if they contain unfounded warnings which seek to spread fear or includeo  harmful behavior. If you’re not sure whether a video is potentially harmful, report it to us and they will take a look.

If you believe someone is in immediate harm, you should contact the police.


 The RI Regional Prevention Coalitions declare that we do not own the rights to TikTok.

All rights belong to the owner. No Copyright Infringement Intended.