G Hannelius stars on the Disney Channel's "Dog With a Blog."
One of my favorite things about playing Avery Jennings on Dog With a Blog, is that I get to play a real teenager who deals with everyday issues. This weekend's episode deals with a very real topic: Internet safety. In the all-new episode, premiering this Sunday, August 11 at 8 p.m., Avery's step-father, Bennett, hosts an Internet safety assembly at her school. After the presentation, a group of popular girls gives her a hard time when they realize she is not allowed to join a social networking site. Avery decides to create an account without telling her parents who discover her profile page and ban her from the site. In an attempt to teach her a lesson, her parents begin posting silly pictures of themselves on her profile page. However, the plan quickly backfires when Avery's mother, Ellen, accidentally posts a video message to Avery's classmates.
To coincide with the episode, Disney Channel teamed with Common Sense Media to shoot a PSA -- and asked me to help with it. You can check it out at the end of this blog. Or, teens can go to DisneyChannel.disney.com/tips to access some easy tips from Common Sense Media about how to be safer online. I've also shared them with you here:
1. Think twice before you post or text: Before you press the "send" button, imagine the last person in the world that you would want seeing what you're about to share. Remember that everything you post or text can be saved, copied, and sent far and wide.
2. Ditch the drama: When rumors and fights start online, there's a clear record of who got involved and when. It's also not worth the chance that you and your friends will end up feeling upset. Take the high road, and find positive ways to support those who are being teased or harassed.
3. Give and get credit: We all have a responsibility to respect one another's creative work, especially online. Illegal downloading, digital cheating, and cutting and pasting other people's stuff may be easy, but that doesn't make those activities right.
4. Nothing is as private as you think: Check out the privacy policies on sites and apps you use most, then change your account settings accordingly. Never share your passwords or private information online.
5. Make this a world you want to live in: Spread the good stuff, and contribute to your online world in positive ways!
With the Internet and social media being a huge part of today's culture, I think it's super important to promote staying smart online.