Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Keeping Kids Safe Online

Here is a link to an excellent article on keeping kids safe on line @
Though I am listing a few key points below, first and foremost is that parents must know that monitoring their kids’ on line behaviors, contacts, and relationships is imperative to keeping them safe.  It is not spying or stalking – it is parenting. 

Create ground rules.  If your kids are old enough to be using the computer on their own, they are old enough to understand that there are rules they need to abide by. Breaking them should not have a lesser consequence than if they broke a rule in the offline world. The best way for families to agree on ground rules is to create a contract that all parties must sign.

Keep computers in a central location.  Limit cell phone use, and collect phones overnight.  Chargers can be kept in an adult’s room and powered off machines will allow everyone a full night sleep.

Check that your privacy settings for the internet are set to the strictest levels. Depending on which browser you are using, you can adjust the settings directly from the options tab and adjust levels around cookies, third party sites and more.  Use filtering websites.  There are software suites you can purchase to monitor your child’s Internet usage; many even enable you to view the exact keys that were typed, time spent online and all computer activity in general.

Be a “friend.”  If you do allow your child to be on Facebook, insist they friend you.  Follow them on twitter and any other social media platform you both agree they can use.  If it is allowed in your family ground rules, you need to follow them.

Most importantly, talk with your kids about internet safety.  Repeated discussions about not sharing their personal information online, can help kids make better decisions.

Join us Tuesday, November 3rd in the GK High School Library from 6:30 -7:00PM for a parents only presentation of Keeping Kids Safe Online, grades k-12.  The goal is to keep the presentation to 30 minutes for those who need to get back to their families, however, we will certainly stay after for questions, ideas, and sharing.  

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