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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Technology and Keeping Kids Safe

The old saying “ignorance is bliss” might ring true in some circumstances. However, hiding our head in the sand when it comes to technology and our children is the perfect recipe for disaster. Today’s devices and wireless Internet capabilities offer our sons and daughters the world at their fingertips. Unfortunately, this connectivity also invites danger into their young lives.







The Importance Of Understanding Technology

It is estimated that 87 percent of our children will witness or encounter some form of cyberbullying. With numbers like those, it’s hard not to admit a child will probably have a negative online experience at some point in their life. To compound this problem, research shows that seven out of ten teens hide online activity from adults.

Everyday we read headlines about cyberbullies, sexting gone wrong, identity thefts, hacking scandals, and online predators seeking young children. It’s frightening to consider that our kids’ digital devices can cause them so much pain. Therefore, it’s vital parents have a solid understanding of a child’s devices, the threats trolling the net, and safety measures needed to digitally protect our children. Afterall, children spend an average of six or more hours a day connected online!



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Five Tips For Keeping Kids Safe with Technology

Besides having a solid comprehension of today’s tech challenges, here are five suggestions to keep our sons and daughters safe:

Monitor a child’s online activity and devices. A child typically gets their first Smartphone around the age of twelve. In the beginning, children need extra supervision and guidance when they access devices and social media. Know passwords, usernames, friends, and sites they use. It’s also a good idea to check text messages and review browser history.

Begin an ongoing conversation about social media etiquette. Take a few minutes and talk with your children about the permanence of the world wide web. Help them realize that anything they post today, will be seen tomorrow and years down the road..

Create a technology contract for your family. Write down expectations, consequences, and rules for using technology.

Double check a child’s privacy settings. Show them how to set their accounts so they are protected now and in the future!

Encourage them to only follow or friend people they actually know. Many predators and bullies entangle their victims by using fake profiles to gain trust and access to sensitive information.

What is one thing you will do to help keep kids safe with technology?




  

Born and raised in Austin, TX, Hilary Smith is a free-lance journalist whose love of gadgets, technology and business has no bounds. After becoming a parent she now enjoys writing about family and parenting related topics. 



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6 comments:

  1. Yes! Internet safety is so important. It seems like everyday you hear about problems related to social media and other online activity. Even though computers became important when I was still in school, everything has changed so much. I mean, my biggest issue with computers was not having my entire family get dysentery on the Oregon Trail...

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    1. Lol! So funny. Yes, times have changed so rapidly. But I truly believe tech has a place that is so important, and so I feel like our kids need to learn how to use it safely at a young age.

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  2. With teen boys this is always a concern for me. On Facebook my son has both parents, both brothers and at least a dozen Scout leaders and church friends to keep him on the straight and narrow, but other services like Snapchat and just his browser don't have those safeguards. But like I tell me Scouts - when you post something on the Internet, you are writing in PEN. Own your words and be responsible for them.

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  3. These tips are excellent! This is such an important topic in our day and age. All parents should address this issue!

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  4. I love these tips! They are so important for kids and parents. I need to share them with our parents since many of their kids play online games quite often. I think it is so important to know what apps and games your kids are playing even if it isn't interesting to help keep them safe. You never know which apps could be harmful to your kids.

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