Keeping Kids Safe in the Digital Age
On-line Safety Tips
Be honest with your child and tell them you will be monitoring their on-line activities. This concept is not new to them…we talk about it in school when we cover the Acceptable Use Policy.
Create an online agreement between you and your child including what sites and activities are acceptable and consequences for misuse.
Keep your computer in a common area in your home like the family room or kitchen.
Know your child’s password to log on to the computer.
Be the administrator of all computers in your home.
Talk to your child about being safe on-line.
Make the real world more interesting and fun then the cyber world.
Check the history of website visited periodically.
Check social networking sites for your child and their friends.
Tour social networking sites with your teen and talk about the impressions or image the people are portraying about who they are through the site.
Be aware of “fake” social networking homepages. They are less likely to be heavily decorated and blog posting will be sparse and outdated.
Install monitoring software on your computer that can record:
• Websites visited
• Applications launched
• Keystrokes typed
• Passwords typed
• Documents opened
• Windows opened
• File changes
• Record and monitor instant messages and chats
Cell Phone Safety Tips
Be honest with your child and tell them you will be monitoring their cell phone activities.
Make sure YOU know how to work your child’s phone BEFORE you give it to them.
Choose not to have text messaging as an option in your plan.
Choose not to buy phones with cameras.
Choose not to include picture mail in your plan.
Have your child pay for their minutes and text messages.
Make a rule that contacts must be approved by parents and identified.
Make a rule that cell phones are left in the kitchen when they are home.
Have friends leave cell phones in the kitchen when they come in the house.
Check your child’s cell phone periodically to see who they have called.
Make a house rule that cell phones not be used in the house.
Create a plan with your child about when where and where cell phone can be used.
Purchase cell phone monitoring software that has these features:
- You will be able to see all suspicious activity along with full content (including images). When a suspicious or unauthorized person tries to call, text, or email your child, the communication is routed through a data center and a notification is sent to your cell phone or email.
- You can level your child’s contacts as trusted, suspicious or unapproved so that alerts can be sent to you through email/text message.
- You can view your child's recent cell phone contacts.
- You can set up a contact list with authorized contacts for your son or daughter.
- The software provides an automatic cross-check of all calls, emails, and text messages against the authorized contact list.
- You can observe your child’s email activity, view read and unread text messages, track suspicious patterns in voice calls received by your child, receive immediate alerts of unauthorized activities, automatically log all unauthorized cell phone activity, view unusual activity on your child’s phone by date, status, time, action and detail.