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Tech Talk For Parents

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By Christopher Plummer

Okay, you broke down and bought your teen all these gadgets-but do you truly understand how they're used? Let's get up to speed, parents!

According to a June 2006 CBS News Poll, 67% of American teenagers have a cell phone, 45% have iPods, 57% use the Internet to research school work, and over a third spend considerable time IM-ing with their friends. They are, one and all, tech experts. So you need some helpful hints to catch up on what's going on:

EMAIL

Email is the technology teens use least, because it's so slow. We're sure you know the ins and out of email, but do your teens? Be sure your teen:

  • Never responds to unsolicited email ("spam"). Responding, even to "unsubscribe," validates your address for the spammer.

  • Never opens an attachment from someone he doesn't know. It may contain a virus or other mal-ware-and we know what those bugs do to machines.

  • Provides his email address ONLY to those who truly need it.

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