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Category: Articles for Parents / Educators

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

We understand that online safety is a top priority for parents and teachers who are providing internet access to younger children and teens alike. Safe search resources for the internet should not replace proper parental or teacher supervision.

Here are few tips to encourage internet safety when surfing the world wide web whether at home or in school.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Have an open conversation with your kids about safe browsing and computer use. With freedom comes responsibility.

Do not replace parental or teacher supervision of computer use at home or at school with our safe search engine or any other. No search filtering software or tool is perfect.

A good rule of thumb is to not allow internet use when a child is home alone without proper supervision, even with this Search Site for Kids search engine.

Educate yourself on social media safety and have open discussions with teens about present dangers and long term effects of inappropriate conduct, including posting pictures online.

Keep your computer in an open area. If your computer is in a home office, make a rule that doors are always left open when online.

It’s not a good idea to allow computers or laptops in your kids bedrooms, even while using the free internet filter, unless they are close to the main area of the house such as the kitchen or living room with doors left open.

Educate yourself on how to stay safe when using social media: Read about Social Media Safety: For Parents / For Teens

Do not allow internet use after you’ve gone to bed at night no matter how good your computer security software is or how confident you are in kids search engines.

Consider installing parental control software to give you completed control over how kids access the internet.

If your child is searching for videos on YouTube, learn how you can activate YouTube parental controls.

Do not allow file sharing programs to be installed on your computer. Only use safe and secure music download programs from trusted sources on the internet.

Internet Safety Tips  – What Kids Can Do!

Do not give out personal information about yourself online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, where you live or your telephone number.

Never to agree to meet someone that you have met online. If you do not know the person in ‘real life’, tell your parents about anyone this is asking to meet you.

Talk to your parents first about pictures you want to post online, whether they be of yourself or your friends and family members.

Do not respond to messages you receive that are mean or speaking meanly about others. Tell your parents about these messages.

Do not give out any of your passwords to friends or anyone you meet online.

Check with your parents first before downloading or installing any software on your computer.

Ensure privacy settings on activated on all of social media websites you use.

Always be kind of others online. Do not do anything that may hurt others including joining in conversations discussing other people’s problems.

Be careful about discussing details about your own personal problems with your friends online. It is better to speak to them in person. Tell your parents or teacher if you are struggling with something.

Remember that the rules for online safety also apply to texting on your phone.

Agree to computer rules set up by your parents, teachers or guardians. With freedom and trust comes the expectation that you will act responsibly.

Internet Filtering Software Solutions!

Internet Accountability: The Covenant Eyes Filter provides options: Decide the times of day the Internet may be used, and how much time per day or per week the Internet may be surfed under each username. Choose whether to block or to allow specific websites specific to each username.  This software can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols. The basic Covenant Eyes Accountability feature teaches safe browsing habits. Just knowing that an extra set of eyes in watching, encourages your family members to be responsible when surfing the internet. Learn more.

For complete control, especially for younger children or for those times you are not available to monitor computer activity, explore parental control software which actually blocks access to inappropriate content online.

Internet safety should be the first priority of any parent or guardian when seeking protection of children online. It certainly can be a balance to juggle freedom on the internet with a safe level of online restrictions. Implement safe search using a kids search engine along with a filtering software program. Safe Search for Kids is designed to work hand in hand with supervision by parents and educators.

We understand that online safety is a top priority for parents and teachers who are providing internet access to younger children and teens alike. Safe search resources for the internet should not replace proper parental or teacher supervision.

Here are few tips to encourage internet safety when surfing the world wide web whether at home or in school.

Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Have an open conversation with your kids about safe browsing and computer use. With freedom comes responsibility.

Do not replace parental or teacher supervision of computer use at home or at school with our safe search engine or any other. No search filtering software or tool is perfect.

A good rule of thumb is to not allow internet use when a child is home alone without proper supervision, even with this Search Site for Kids search engine.

Educate yourself on social media safety and have open discussions with teens about present dangers and long term effects of inappropriate conduct, including posting pictures online.

Keep your computer in an open area. If your computer is in a home office, make a rule that doors are always left open when online.

It’s not a good idea to allow computers or laptops in your kids bedrooms, even while using the free internet filter, unless they are close to the main area of the house such as the kitchen or living room with doors left open.

Educate yourself on how to stay safe when using social media: Read about Social Media Safety: For Parents / For Teens

Do not allow internet use after you’ve gone to bed at night no matter how good your computer security software is or how confident you are in kids search engines.

Consider installing parental control software to give you completed control over how kids access the internet.

If your child is searching for videos on YouTube, learn how you can activate YouTube parental controls.

Do not allow file sharing programs to be installed on your computer. Only use safe and secure music download programs from trusted sources on the internet.

Internet Safety Tips  – What Kids Can Do!

Do not give out personal information about yourself online without your parent’s permission. This includes your name, where you live or your telephone number.

Never to agree to meet someone that you have met online. If you do not know the person in ‘real life’, tell your parents about anyone this is asking to meet you.

Talk to your parents first about pictures you want to post online, whether they be of yourself or your friends and family members.

Do not respond to messages you receive that are mean or speaking meanly about others. Tell your parents about these messages.

Do not give out any of your passwords to friends or anyone you meet online.

Check with your parents first before downloading or installing any software on your computer.

Ensure privacy settings on activated on all of social media websites you use.

Always be kind of others online. Do not do anything that may hurt others including joining in conversations discussing other people’s problems.

Be careful about discussing details about your own personal problems with your friends online. It is better to speak to them in person. Tell your parents or teacher if you are struggling with something.

Remember that the rules for online safety also apply to texting on your phone.

Agree to computer rules set up by your parents, teachers or guardians. With freedom and trust comes the expectation that you will act responsibly.

Internet Filtering Software Solutions!

Internet Accountability: The Covenant Eyes Filter provides options: Decide the times of day the Internet may be used, and how much time per day or per week the Internet may be surfed under each username. Choose whether to block or to allow specific websites specific to each username.  This software can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols. The basic Covenant Eyes Accountability feature teaches safe browsing habits. Just knowing that an extra set of eyes in watching, encourages your family members to be responsible when surfing the internet. Learn more.

For complete control, especially for younger children or for those times you are not available to monitor computer activity, explore parental control software which actually blocks access to inappropriate content online.

Internet safety should be the first priority of any parent or guardian when seeking protection of children online. It certainly can be a balance to juggle freedom on the internet with a safe level of online restrictions. Implement safe search using a kids search engine along with a filtering software program. Safe Search for Kids is designed to work hand in hand with supervision by parents and educators.

Cell Phone Safety Tips

cell phone safety tips

Once upon a time… kids would have to go outside to play a game with friends, get up to change the TV channel manually, and would have to walk 3 miles to school—uphill, both ways. A little further down the road, kids have access to newfangled technology and their parents are struggling to keep up with it all.

If you’re the parent of a teenager (or even an almost-teenager, tween) you may already be familiar with the pressure but still the the numbers are still shocking:

  • A whopping 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • Furthermore, 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone!
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • A large group of parents were asked what age would be appropriate for a child to get their first cell phone. 22% of those parents felt that 10 was a good age!

So if you haven’t been asked the following question yet… get ready, it’s coming very soon.

“Mom/Dad, Can I Have a Smart Phone?”

In all honesty, it becomes harder and harder to say no. We all remember being on the other end of “but everyone else has one!” and how frustrating it felt when your parents didn’t understand. So, we try to understand because we remember feeling excluded from their generation, and we don’t want to put our kids through that same torture.

Most parents will set forth ground rules similar to giving a child a puppy (remember when that was what they wanted?!). Here’s a sample:

Cell Phone Contract for a Teenager:

  • I do not own this phone. My parents are awesome, and they are giving me the privilege of using this phone.
  • Nothing is free. This phone, and the ability to use it, costs money. I will work hard to earn this privilege.
  • (Prepaid phones / limited texts are a good idea for teenagers.) I will not exceed my limit for monthly calls or texts.
  • I will take care of my phone. If I break it, I have to replace it. If I lose it, I have to replace it.
  • I will adhere to all instruction on how to use my phone safety.
  • I will never use this phone in an inappropriate way.

More specifically, I will never use this phone to:

– Send a mean or hurtful text. If I have a disagreement with somebody, we will talk face to face.

– Talk or text after 9 PM.

– Have inappropriate text conversations.

– Send or receive inappropriate images.

– Follow policies regarding cell phone use in school.

– Talk or text while driving.

– If I decide to put a lock screen on my phone, my parents will know the password or code. My parents will have access to all of my phone call history and text message history.

{Parents} agree to respect my privacy and will only use their rights of access if I have shown suspicious behavior.

– I understand that this phone may be taken away if I am on it too much, or if I express negative behavior including talking back or failing to keep up with my chores.

– If my grades drop, I will lose this phone until I have brought my grades back up.

– If my phone has the ability to surf the internet, I will use a Safe Search Engine.

These are sample items that you may use or modify to create a cell phone contract with your teenager. However, it doesn’t stop there.

As parents of a teenager with a smart phone, you are responsible for:

• Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.

• Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.

• Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.

• Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.

• Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

• Enforcing the rules.

In the end, you are the parent. Unless your teenager has a job and is paying for his or her own phone and phone bill, you should have full control over the situation. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and revoke– or deny– the privilege until your teenager shows full responsibility on their end.

Safe Internet Use on Smart Phones

*The ability to browse the internet (for tweens and teens that have access to the internet on their cell phone) opens up an entirely new area of safety concerns. Not only can kids search the web more discreetly, most parents do not view this activity as of much of a risk as they do allowing their kids to search on a regular computer. The fact is, the dangers are just as real and even worse when you consider that with a smart phone, kids can search the internet outside of the watchful eye of parents while using their cell phone in school.

We have a safe search tool for kids. It is an app version of safe search for phones that automatically ensures safe search is on.

Having your tweens and teens agree to use this version of search will automatically ensure safe filtering is always on. That said, you still need to set up guidelines that allow you to view history on their phone when needed, as well has having them promise to not delete their history knowing you may look at it.

An open conversation about all of these issues is vital to instilling responsible behavior from kids of all ages. To explore internet filtering with more parental control, explore internet filtering software, which can also be activated on smart phones.

Once upon a time… kids would have to go outside to play a game with friends, get up to change the TV channel manually, and would have to walk 3 miles to school—uphill, both ways. A little further down the road, kids have access to newfangled technology and their parents are struggling to keep up with it all.

If you’re the parent of a teenager (or even an almost-teenager, tween) you may already be familiar with the pressure but still the the numbers are still shocking:

  • A whopping 77% of teens (between the ages of 12 and 17) own a cell phone.
  • Furthermore, 56% of tweens (ages 8 through 12) own a cell phone!
  • 75% of teen drivers admitted to texting while driving.
  • 28% of teens admitted to sending inappropriate pictures via text.
  • A large group of parents were asked what age would be appropriate for a child to get their first cell phone. 22% of those parents felt that 10 was a good age!

So if you haven’t been asked the following question yet… get ready, it’s coming very soon.

“Mom/Dad, Can I Have a Smart Phone?”

In all honesty, it becomes harder and harder to say no. We all remember being on the other end of “but everyone else has one!” and how frustrating it felt when your parents didn’t understand. So, we try to understand because we remember feeling excluded from their generation, and we don’t want to put our kids through that same torture.

Most parents will set forth ground rules similar to giving a child a puppy (remember when that was what they wanted?!). Here’s a sample:

Cell Phone Contract for a Teenager:

  • I do not own this phone. My parents are awesome, and they are giving me the privilege of using this phone.
  • Nothing is free. This phone, and the ability to use it, costs money. I will work hard to earn this privilege.
  • (Prepaid phones / limited texts are a good idea for teenagers.) I will not exceed my limit for monthly calls or texts.
  • I will take care of my phone. If I break it, I have to replace it. If I lose it, I have to replace it.
  • I will adhere to all instruction on how to use my phone safety.
  • I will never use this phone in an inappropriate way.

More specifically, I will never use this phone to:

– Send a mean or hurtful text. If I have a disagreement with somebody, we will talk face to face.

– Talk or text after 9 PM.

– Have inappropriate text conversations.

– Send or receive inappropriate images.

– Follow policies regarding cell phone use in school.

– Talk or text while driving.

– If I decide to put a lock screen on my phone, my parents will know the password or code. My parents will have access to all of my phone call history and text message history.

{Parents} agree to respect my privacy and will only use their rights of access if I have shown suspicious behavior.

– I understand that this phone may be taken away if I am on it too much, or if I express negative behavior including talking back or failing to keep up with my chores.

– If my grades drop, I will lose this phone until I have brought my grades back up.

– If my phone has the ability to surf the internet, I will use a Safe Search Engine.

These are sample items that you may use or modify to create a cell phone contract with your teenager. However, it doesn’t stop there.

As parents of a teenager with a smart phone, you are responsible for:

• Restricting the amount of time your teenager spends on his or her phone. This includes calls, texts, and data usage.

• Encouraging activities that will draw your child or teenager back into the “real world” so (s)he is more attentive of his or her surroundings.

• Understanding the features on your child’s phone so you can answer questions and offer guidance.

• Updating the privacy settings on your child’s phone.

• Understanding how your child is using their phone, so you can keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

• Enforcing the rules.

In the end, you are the parent. Unless your teenager has a job and is paying for his or her own phone and phone bill, you should have full control over the situation. Don’t be afraid to put your foot down and revoke– or deny– the privilege until your teenager shows full responsibility on their end.

Safe Internet Use on Smart Phones

*The ability to browse the internet (for tweens and teens that have access to the internet on their cell phone) opens up an entirely new area of safety concerns. Not only can kids search the web more discreetly, most parents do not view this activity as of much of a risk as they do allowing their kids to search on a regular computer. The fact is, the dangers are just as real and even worse when you consider that with a smart phone, kids can search the internet outside of the watchful eye of parents while using their cell phone in school.

We have a safe search tool for kids. It is an app version of safe search for phones that automatically ensures safe search is on.

Having your tweens and teens agree to use this version of search will automatically ensure safe filtering is always on. That said, you still need to set up guidelines that allow you to view history on their phone when needed, as well has having them promise to not delete their history knowing you may look at it.

An open conversation about all of these issues is vital to instilling responsible behavior from kids of all ages. To explore internet filtering with more parental control, explore internet filtering software, which can also be activated on smart phones.

Cell Phones in School

cell phone usage in schools

Policies on the use of cell phones in school vary. While most schools have thorough written policies in place regarding the use of cell phones by students, these guidelines are continually being reviewed, revised and updated on a regular basis for a variety of reasons.

As cell phone used in and around schools evolves and becomes more pervasive throughout society in general, educators are also finding that the age of the typical child with a cell phone in school is getting younger.

New Issues Regarding the Use of Cell Phones by Students

With added cell phone features becoming standard, such as photo and video cameras and recording devices, educators face new issues that did not exist a few years ago. Issues of this nature were first addressed with high school students, and in recent years students using cell phones in middle schools needed guidelines. Today, we see that even elementary schools are now part of the cell phone debate.

The debate over cell phone use in school is no longer about whether or not these devices should be allowed on school premises. The fact of the matter is, parents expect to be in contact with their kids before and after school, as well as during lunch hours for those kids who leave school grounds. The cell phone may also facilitate students in planning after-school work and other activities, such as sporting events.

It is no longer reasonable for educators to expect students to turn in their cell phones at the door and pick them up when school is over. Requiring kids to leave cell phones in the lockers, also increases the risk of theft on a larger scale.

Since students are not prevented from carrying cell phone on their person, the risk of camera phones being used to take photographs of quizzes or exams and transmit them to classmates is of greater concern, not to mention the ability to text or instant message other students. In addition, pictures may be taken at home of notes that can easily be hidden within a phone and later used to cheat on an exam.

Protection of Kids from Cell Phone Abuse

While restricting any use of a cell phone in the classroom is just a matter of common sense, policies around cell phones in school revolve around ‘how to control cell phone use’ during those times throughout the school day when kids are roaming free, such as before school, at recess, lunch breaks and after school class hours.

Camera phones can be used to take embarrassing photographs of classmates in private areas, such as restrooms and locker rooms, and share them with others electronically or posting videos on YouTube. This technology raises legal issues of privacy and sexual harassment.

Cyber bullying also becomes more of an increased issue with access to social media sites, not to mention the distraction that social media and texting can pose to educational process for any child.

Benefits of Cell Phones in School

Cameras on phones can have educational benefits, giving students the ability to record field trips or school events, to enhance reports with visuals, and to develop photo essays. We have also mentioned the benefit for kids and parents to be in contact with each other, even if to only schedule pick up times.

Smart phones also give students easy access to the internet, which can be a benefit for research (replacing the use of a computer within the school) but can also open up potential concerns about cell phone safety for kids who are out of the watchful eye of their parents.

The use of cell phones by teachers is also part of many school policies. The main concern is whether cell phones should be used during school hours for personal business and therefore distracting teachers from their duties in offering students their undivided attention in the classroom or during the supervision of an exam.

Disciplinary Action for Cell Phone Misuse by Students

Any school policy regarding cell phones in school must also include disciplinary action for various activities involving cell phone use that is contrary to existing policies laid out. There should be set consequences that match the severity of the misuse, as well as reoccurring violations by an individual student or group of students. The most common repeat offense seems to be cell phones ringing in the classroom because a student forgot to turn their phone off.

cell-phones-in-school

In Summary
There was a time when “not in school!” was an important rule set for teenagers or children and their cell phones. Things have changed (rather quickly) and cell phones are now welcome in schools… with some guidelines, of course.

A few reasons why cell phones in school is a good thing:

  • Smart phones can help students get more organized in school.
  • Bringing a phone to school lets children communicate with their parents if they need to stay after or have forgotten something at home.
  • Personal phones can be used in the event of an emergency or accident.
  • However, there is an even longer list of reasons why cell phones in school is a bad thing. A few of those reasons include:

– Cell phones can be used to cheat in class.

– Cell phones can be a distraction in school.

– Cell phones can be used for bullying, including taking inappropriate or unwanted pictures and video.

– It can be very challenging for a teacher or school staff to closely monitor each student and ensure that school cell phone policies are followed.

– It is unhealthy for a child or teenager to depend on their cell phone for entertainment, or excessive communication with others when they should be focused on school work.

– Safe practices while searching the internet are just as important on a phone than when using a computer.

What Parents Can Do To Teach Your Teen About Cell Phones in School:

Since school policies have approached this topic with an open mind, it’s up to the parents to make sure your child will follow the guidelines and show responsibility when bringing a phone to school. After all, it would be unfair to expect your child to leave their phone at home (since they are allowed in school) and having a cell phone can be helpful in case of an emergency.

Check with the school to find out what the policies are, and use your best judgment to add your own expectations. For example, some schools may allow students to have their phones on during lunch or between classes, and you may not agree with this.

The trick with cell phones in school is that students should not leave valuable property in a car or locker, because it could get stolen. So it is up to the student to be responsible and leave their phone turned off (not just on silent) during class.

So as the parent, you can watch to see how “addicted to their phone” your child is, and at your own discretion determine if the benefits are worth the risk.

Parents: Read about Cell Phone Safety Tips!

Policies on the use of cell phones in school vary. While most schools have thorough written policies in place regarding the use of cell phones by students, these guidelines are continually being reviewed, revised and updated on a regular basis for a variety of reasons.

As cell phone used in and around schools evolves and becomes more pervasive throughout society in general, educators are also finding that the age of the typical child with a cell phone in school is getting younger.

New Issues Regarding the Use of Cell Phones by Students

With added cell phone features becoming standard, such as photo and video cameras and recording devices, educators face new issues that did not exist a few years ago. Issues of this nature were first addressed with high school students, and in recent years students using cell phones in middle schools needed guidelines. Today, we see that even elementary schools are now part of the cell phone debate.

The debate over cell phone use in school is no longer about whether or not these devices should be allowed on school premises. The fact of the matter is, parents expect to be in contact with their kids before and after school, as well as during lunch hours for those kids who leave school grounds. The cell phone may also facilitate students in planning after-school work and other activities, such as sporting events.

It is no longer reasonable for educators to expect students to turn in their cell phones at the door and pick them up when school is over. Requiring kids to leave cell phones in the lockers, also increases the risk of theft on a larger scale.

Since students are not prevented from carrying cell phone on their person, the risk of camera phones being used to take photographs of quizzes or exams and transmit them to classmates is of greater concern, not to mention the ability to text or instant message other students. In addition, pictures may be taken at home of notes that can easily be hidden within a phone and later used to cheat on an exam.

Protection of Kids from Cell Phone Abuse

While restricting any use of a cell phone in the classroom is just a matter of common sense, policies around cell phones in school revolve around ‘how to control cell phone use’ during those times throughout the school day when kids are roaming free, such as before school, at recess, lunch breaks and after school class hours.

Camera phones can be used to take embarrassing photographs of classmates in private areas, such as restrooms and locker rooms, and share them with others electronically or posting videos on YouTube. This technology raises legal issues of privacy and sexual harassment.

Cyber bullying also becomes more of an increased issue with access to social media sites, not to mention the distraction that social media and texting can pose to educational process for any child.

Benefits of Cell Phones in School

Cameras on phones can have educational benefits, giving students the ability to record field trips or school events, to enhance reports with visuals, and to develop photo essays. We have also mentioned the benefit for kids and parents to be in contact with each other, even if to only schedule pick up times.

Smart phones also give students easy access to the internet, which can be a benefit for research (replacing the use of a computer within the school) but can also open up potential concerns about cell phone safety for kids who are out of the watchful eye of their parents.

The use of cell phones by teachers is also part of many school policies. The main concern is whether cell phones should be used during school hours for personal business and therefore distracting teachers from their duties in offering students their undivided attention in the classroom or during the supervision of an exam.

Disciplinary Action for Cell Phone Misuse by Students

Any school policy regarding cell phones in school must also include disciplinary action for various activities involving cell phone use that is contrary to existing policies laid out. There should be set consequences that match the severity of the misuse, as well as reoccurring violations by an individual student or group of students. The most common repeat offense seems to be cell phones ringing in the classroom because a student forgot to turn their phone off.

cell-phones-in-school

In Summary
There was a time when “not in school!” was an important rule set for teenagers or children and their cell phones. Things have changed (rather quickly) and cell phones are now welcome in schools… with some guidelines, of course.

A few reasons why cell phones in school is a good thing:

  • Smart phones can help students get more organized in school.
  • Bringing a phone to school lets children communicate with their parents if they need to stay after or have forgotten something at home.
  • Personal phones can be used in the event of an emergency or accident.
  • However, there is an even longer list of reasons why cell phones in school is a bad thing. A few of those reasons include:

– Cell phones can be used to cheat in class.

– Cell phones can be a distraction in school.

– Cell phones can be used for bullying, including taking inappropriate or unwanted pictures and video.

– It can be very challenging for a teacher or school staff to closely monitor each student and ensure that school cell phone policies are followed.

– It is unhealthy for a child or teenager to depend on their cell phone for entertainment, or excessive communication with others when they should be focused on school work.

– Safe practices while searching the internet are just as important on a phone than when using a computer.

What Parents Can Do To Teach Your Teen About Cell Phones in School:

Since school policies have approached this topic with an open mind, it’s up to the parents to make sure your child will follow the guidelines and show responsibility when bringing a phone to school. After all, it would be unfair to expect your child to leave their phone at home (since they are allowed in school) and having a cell phone can be helpful in case of an emergency.

Check with the school to find out what the policies are, and use your best judgment to add your own expectations. For example, some schools may allow students to have their phones on during lunch or between classes, and you may not agree with this.

The trick with cell phones in school is that students should not leave valuable property in a car or locker, because it could get stolen. So it is up to the student to be responsible and leave their phone turned off (not just on silent) during class.

So as the parent, you can watch to see how “addicted to their phone” your child is, and at your own discretion determine if the benefits are worth the risk.

Parents: Read about Cell Phone Safety Tips!

Parent’s Guide to Protecting Teens on Social Media

Raising a teenager is no picnic! On one hand, you want to respect boundaries and give your growing child the freedom to make—and learn from—their own mistakes. On the other hand, you want to do everything in your power to protect your child from… well, everything.

(This article is directed at parents. Teens, read what you can do here).

When it comes to online safety, social media has its’ own unique set of problems for teenagers… and it can go far beyond the online predator horror stories. That’s why it’s important as a parent to be involved with your teens’ use of social media

Let’s be honest, most parents have their own Twitter or Facebook account.

Not every parent is involved in social media. If your teen is using social media… that is a good reason why you should be too. (Of course, there aren’t really that many good reasons…)

Even if you don’t use social media actively, you should be friends with your teen so you can routinely check and see their posts. Not only will this give you a chance to see what’s really going on in their mind (because social media brings out a passive aggressive behavior in everyone, and teenagers are especially likely to Facebook their problems instead of facing them) but you can also recognize inappropriate behavior or posts, such as posting personal information.

Note that Facebook has a filtering feature that can allow teenagers to hide certain posts from parents or other adults. Use your best judgment to determine if your child might be filtering the posts that you see.

While we’re being honest, most teenagers use another social media site more than Facebook or Twitter.

Most parents are surprised to learn that their child has social media accounts on sites you probably didn’t even know about. Talk to your child and make sure you know every site they are using and how those sites are used.

Here are some of the most popular social networking sites used by teenagers:
• Facebook
• Twitter
• G+ (Google Plus)
• Instagram
• Tumblr
• Snapchat
• Meetme

Open communication.

Parents who openly communicate with their children are more likely to receive the same approach in response. It is critical that your teenager feel safe in talking to you, because fear of punishment can result in isolated or rebellious behavior.

During the difficult teenage years, your child will want to test boundaries. They will want to do and say things that you would not approve of. This is basic human nature. It’s important that you understand and respect this, while letting them know they can talk to you about anything.

At the same time, you should lead by example and initiate those difficult discussions with your teen. Even if you only get one-word responses, they are still listening… and it establishes a comfortable environment for open communication in your home.

It is also important to have a discussion about cell phone safety, where kids can access social media site with ease and outside the watchful eye of parents. This raises issues of cell phone safety.

Practical privacy.

Keep computers in a “public” location, rather than in their bedroom. At your discretion, it may be a good idea to routinely check computer and phone history and require that you know the passwords to all of your teen’s accounts… but keep in mind that infringing on their right to privacy may only push them further away.

In a nutshell, trust your child enough to give them leash and don’t violate their privacy without justifiable cause. However, maintain the ability to check up on your teen if they begin to show suspicious behavior.

Establish boundaries.

Boundaries, rules, and guidelines can be applied to behaviors that are allowed on social media… as well as the amount of time allowed to spend on social media. Teenagers with smart phones tend to be more interested in the cyber world and oblivious to the real world around them, but as a parent you can set the rules to prevent this from happening.

Stay informed of the threats.

Internet safety is about so much more than online predators or identity theft. In fact, teenagers are not the only vulnerable internet users.

Even parents can make mistakes on social media!!! Did you know that you should never brag about an upcoming vacation, and when you take a vacation you should wait until you return home to post pictures?

It helps to know the tricks and trends, because the more likely online threats are much more common—such as falling victim to a spambot.

Here is a guide you can give your teenager about social media safety for teens.

Raising a teenager is no picnic! On one hand, you want to respect boundaries and give your growing child the freedom to make—and learn from—their own mistakes. On the other hand, you want to do everything in your power to protect your child from… well, everything.

(This article is directed at parents. Teens, read what you can do here).

When it comes to online safety, social media has its’ own unique set of problems for teenagers… and it can go far beyond the online predator horror stories. That’s why it’s important as a parent to be involved with your teens’ use of social media

Let’s be honest, most parents have their own Twitter or Facebook account.

Not every parent is involved in social media. If your teen is using social media… that is a good reason why you should be too. (Of course, there aren’t really that many good reasons…)

Even if you don’t use social media actively, you should be friends with your teen so you can routinely check and see their posts. Not only will this give you a chance to see what’s really going on in their mind (because social media brings out a passive aggressive behavior in everyone, and teenagers are especially likely to Facebook their problems instead of facing them) but you can also recognize inappropriate behavior or posts, such as posting personal information.

Note that Facebook has a filtering feature that can allow teenagers to hide certain posts from parents or other adults. Use your best judgment to determine if your child might be filtering the posts that you see.

While we’re being honest, most teenagers use another social media site more than Facebook or Twitter.

Most parents are surprised to learn that their child has social media accounts on sites you probably didn’t even know about. Talk to your child and make sure you know every site they are using and how those sites are used.

Here are some of the most popular social networking sites used by teenagers:
• Facebook
• Twitter
• G+ (Google Plus)
• Instagram
• Tumblr
• Snapchat
• Meetme

Open communication.

Parents who openly communicate with their children are more likely to receive the same approach in response. It is critical that your teenager feel safe in talking to you, because fear of punishment can result in isolated or rebellious behavior.

During the difficult teenage years, your child will want to test boundaries. They will want to do and say things that you would not approve of. This is basic human nature. It’s important that you understand and respect this, while letting them know they can talk to you about anything.

At the same time, you should lead by example and initiate those difficult discussions with your teen. Even if you only get one-word responses, they are still listening… and it establishes a comfortable environment for open communication in your home.

It is also important to have a discussion about cell phone safety, where kids can access social media site with ease and outside the watchful eye of parents. This raises issues of cell phone safety.

Practical privacy.

Keep computers in a “public” location, rather than in their bedroom. At your discretion, it may be a good idea to routinely check computer and phone history and require that you know the passwords to all of your teen’s accounts… but keep in mind that infringing on their right to privacy may only push them further away.

In a nutshell, trust your child enough to give them leash and don’t violate their privacy without justifiable cause. However, maintain the ability to check up on your teen if they begin to show suspicious behavior.

Establish boundaries.

Boundaries, rules, and guidelines can be applied to behaviors that are allowed on social media… as well as the amount of time allowed to spend on social media. Teenagers with smart phones tend to be more interested in the cyber world and oblivious to the real world around them, but as a parent you can set the rules to prevent this from happening.

Stay informed of the threats.

Internet safety is about so much more than online predators or identity theft. In fact, teenagers are not the only vulnerable internet users.

Even parents can make mistakes on social media!!! Did you know that you should never brag about an upcoming vacation, and when you take a vacation you should wait until you return home to post pictures?

It helps to know the tricks and trends, because the more likely online threats are much more common—such as falling victim to a spambot.

Here is a guide you can give your teenager about social media safety for teens.