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Category: Articles for Parents / Educators

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.

Covenant Eyes: Internet Filtering and Accountability

internet safety for teens

Most filters block content which often hinders you from viewing legitimate sites that you wouldn’t consider harmful. And even the best filters are not perfect. Covenant Eyes Software is different by offering an added accountability feature.

Covenant Eyes keeps a record of all internet activity that is impossible to circumvent, unlike the history in your browser that can be deleted. Covenant Eyes teaches safe browsing habits through email reports. This is ideal for older teens and adults.

Just knowing that an extra set of eyes is watching, help keeps your family members responsible when surfing the internet, including Google. Basically, a user knows that any website they visit will also be seen by their accountability partner, such as a parent or guardian.

Email reports are not cumbersome. Bad websites are highlighted to produce an easy to view history report of where a user has been online. Those keeping an eye on a users internet habits can also log in anytime to see a recent history.

Beyond accountability, Covenant Eyes still allows you to block content based on the age. It can also decide the times of day the internet may be used, and decide 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, and this option can be applied differently to each user. Covenant Eyes can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols.

Finally, you can decide which members may or may not override the filter while keeping the accountability feature active.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Covenant Eyes Software is downloaded to a computer.
  • Covenant Eyes keeps a complete and accurate record of all web usage.
  • Accountability Partners, selected by the user, receive reports by email about internet activity.
  • Our unique dynamic scoring system highlights questionable sites, making the report easy to read.
Download Covenant Eyes!

Covenant Eyes provides an economical solution to internet filtering for the entire family. The accountability feature works ‘hand in hand’ with our Google search filtering. For younger kids, you should also employ the full internet filtering feature which Covenant Eyes provides.

If you choose to implement filtering using the Covenant Eyes Software, we encourage you to also use our website, as there may be different levels of filtering applied to various members of your family.

Internet Filters are designed to keep offensive and dangerous websites away from your computer and your family. However, they should not trusted to replace parental supervision and guidance on safe browsing behavior.

Covenant Eyes analyzes each website visited and blocks or allows them according to each user’s sensitivity settings. The Covenant Eyes Filter requires an ‘uninstall code’ in order to remove it from the computer. If the program is uninstalled, all users and accountability partners receive an email that the Covenant Eyes is no longer tracking usage.

As mentioned, you can choose to not have a lower level of filtering for older family members. At it’s most basic level, the software program instills positive browsing habits through accountability and reduces the risk of developing addictive behavior.

Some users are adults who choose to resist temptation on the internet by remaining accountable to a friend or spouse.

Download and Try Covenant Eyes!

Most filters block content which often hinders you from viewing legitimate sites that you wouldn’t consider harmful. And even the best filters are not perfect. Covenant Eyes Software is different by offering an added accountability feature.

Covenant Eyes keeps a record of all internet activity that is impossible to circumvent, unlike the history in your browser that can be deleted. Covenant Eyes teaches safe browsing habits through email reports. This is ideal for older teens and adults.

Just knowing that an extra set of eyes is watching, help keeps your family members responsible when surfing the internet, including Google. Basically, a user knows that any website they visit will also be seen by their accountability partner, such as a parent or guardian.

Email reports are not cumbersome. Bad websites are highlighted to produce an easy to view history report of where a user has been online. Those keeping an eye on a users internet habits can also log in anytime to see a recent history.

Beyond accountability, Covenant Eyes still allows you to block content based on the age. It can also decide the times of day the internet may be used, and decide 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, and this option can be applied differently to each user. Covenant Eyes can be used to help block instant messaging, file sharing, and other protocols.

Finally, you can decide which members may or may not override the filter while keeping the accountability feature active.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Covenant Eyes Software is downloaded to a computer.
  • Covenant Eyes keeps a complete and accurate record of all web usage.
  • Accountability Partners, selected by the user, receive reports by email about internet activity.
  • Our unique dynamic scoring system highlights questionable sites, making the report easy to read.
Download Covenant Eyes!

Covenant Eyes provides an economical solution to internet filtering for the entire family. The accountability feature works ‘hand in hand’ with our Google search filtering. For younger kids, you should also employ the full internet filtering feature which Covenant Eyes provides.

If you choose to implement filtering using the Covenant Eyes Software, we encourage you to also use our website, as there may be different levels of filtering applied to various members of your family.

Internet Filters are designed to keep offensive and dangerous websites away from your computer and your family. However, they should not trusted to replace parental supervision and guidance on safe browsing behavior.

Covenant Eyes analyzes each website visited and blocks or allows them according to each user’s sensitivity settings. The Covenant Eyes Filter requires an ‘uninstall code’ in order to remove it from the computer. If the program is uninstalled, all users and accountability partners receive an email that the Covenant Eyes is no longer tracking usage.

As mentioned, you can choose to not have a lower level of filtering for older family members. At it’s most basic level, the software program instills positive browsing habits through accountability and reduces the risk of developing addictive behavior.

Some users are adults who choose to resist temptation on the internet by remaining accountable to a friend or spouse.

Download and Try Covenant Eyes!