What ages are your children?
15 and 3
Do they have regular access to the internet?
Yes, the 15 year old does.
Is it supervised or monitored in any way?
What are your family online/technology rules?
The laptop must stay in a common area and is not allowed into the bedroom. Cell phone is turned off at 9 p.m. on school nights and placed on our dresser. All social media sites must be approved by both parents and at least one has to also be a part of that site as a “friend,” “Follower,” etc. iPhone is the parents property and I can and will go through it at any given time.
What methods do you use to track what your kids do online?
We use Verizon to monitor texting, then we follow the same sites as our daughter and initiate regular phone checks.
Do your kids have their own mobile devices? Why or why not?
Our 15-year-old has an iPhone. She’s an extremely active teenager and I need to be in contact with when away from home.
As a parent, raising kids in this technology-heavy digital age, what are your biggest concerns? (Sexting, bullying, inappropriate websites, kids accidentally downloading malware onto one of your devices, them losing expensive mobile devices, etc.)
Sexting is a big one, since that can tarnish a reputation, but bullying hasn’t been a problem in our family. We’re not as concerned about our daughter losing her device as we are about her breaking it.
How do you keep the lines of communication open when it comes to discussing these concerns with your child?
Communication is the #1 aspect, period. We talk about and discuss everything, we are very open and level headed. Our high schoolers understands the rules and knows devices will be taken if those rules are broken.
Have you ever dealt with an incident of cyber bullying? Or another security-related incident?
No bullying, but we have had inappropriate texts exchanged before.
Do you talk to your kids about the dangers of the internet (in the same way parents of the past talked about “stranger danger” or crossing the street without looking, for example)?
Yes, profiles are kept private and again we monitor.
Do you allow your children on social media? If so, how do you monitor your child’s social media presence?
Yes. Our teenager is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I follow her on all of the sites and randomly check phone for direst messages.
Do you have rules about downloading apps or software?
Not so much.
Do your kids read using their kindles or books?
She sold her kindle, prefers paperback books