There’s no shortage of internet access for kids. Whether it’s a smart phone, a tablet or a computer, kids can connect to millions around the world in seconds. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. Snap Chat. Do you know what apps your kids are using? Do you know what they’re posting? Do you know if you kids know what they should and should not be posting?
Don’t assume your child knows more than you about navigating technology. Make sure they understand how to create a good password and set up a profile with minimal information. For example, Facebook gives you the option to add your mobile phone to your profile. Adding it allows anyone in the world who’s clicked onto your profile to view it and potentially use it in malicious ways.
Child ID theft is a prevalent threat. Criminals are targeting younger victims and ruining their credit scores and financial lives before they even have a chance to get started. Help your child protect their information from the get go.
Beyond that, your child should be taught to be suspicious of links that take them away from their newsfeed or twitter feed – even if they’re sent by a friend. Are they legitimate links? Or are they links that are going to hack into their profile? If they do get hacked, make sure they know to notify you immediately and promptly change their password.
Speaking of friends, who are your kids connecting with? Do they understand the importance of only friending and networking with people they know in real life? Or are they tempted to accept every John and Jane Doe who reaches out to them? Make sure your children understand the dangers of networking with strangers.
Lastly, make sure your kids know what is and is not appropriate to post online. Are they cyberbullying or being cyberbullied? This has become very prevalent in today’s culture and takes seconds to do. Keep the lines of communication open, be aware of your child’s activity online.
To monitor your child’s online acitivity while you’re not around, you can set up parental controls that either A) block certain sites and/or B) track your child’s online activity. Some of the best parental controls for this are Net Nanny and BSafe Online.