Back to School is staring me in the face; and I couldn’t be more thrilled. While the summer is fun; the kids need and crave the structure of school after 8 weeks away. Frankly; as a work at home parent I need to get back to my work routine. Summers mess me up in a big way.
Many kids in the south are already back to school and seeing Facebook, instagram posts made me think. Are we keeping our kids safe in a social society? My husband has NO social media accounts; not a single one. I almost envy him for that. I could definitely balance my time better with social media and real life. So how can we protect our kids from social media and the internet?
Tips for Parents
- While back to school is a time for the decorated first day photo be careful. Don’t post the school name. Don’t check in with your location. Predators are sneaky and will use all means necessary to find children
- Don’t share personal information online; while the chalkboards are cute don’t say where you live and the name of the school on them. Just list the grade and a fun tidbit.
- If you are going to share photos of the kids be sure your settings are PRIVATE so only approved friends can see these photos. You will rarely see my kids on my business instagram account; I fear it exposes them.
- Protect your own safety, don’t post something such as ” Working late at the school on the dance, it’s creepy here when it’s empty” and then add a location or name.
- If you have a web site, avoid oversaturing it with your kids photos. You cannot control someone taking it.
Tips for Teens
- The internet is forever; if you don’t want it found in college then don’t post it now. You cannot erase the past when it comes to the internet; its unforgiving
- Never share your personal information with a stranger. This seems basic but predators are sneaky.
- NEVER share passwords with friends. That is your identity and site and should only reflect you. One falling out and a “friend” can destroy your online presence.
- Don’t throw a fit when your parents want your passwords. They are just ensuring your own safety online.
- Never EVER share address, social security number, phone numbers.
Tips for School Age
- Be sure they are only using apps approved for their age. As we know there is a lot of scary stuff on the internet and we don’t want them to find it first.
- Create a family agreement for Internet use, including hours of use, which sites can be accessed and which ones shouldn’t be.
- Teach your children that talking to a stranger on the Internet is no different from talking to a stranger on the street.
The best tip is to be open and honest about all use of the internet with the kids. While it can be full of fun and exciting information it can also be dangerous.
What tips can you share for internet safety?