18 11 / 2013
19 6 / 2013
As a mom blogger I am constantly receiving emails from companies that “just launched an ultra safe social network for children”. How an “ultra safe social network for kids” can be created is beyond me, but I see it all the time.
My two girls are 9 and 12 and my husband and I don’t think they’re old enough quite yet to be involved in social networking sites. I’m sure it isn’t such a big deal, but simply understanding the pace of social media and how monitoring it can be difficult we simply forbid these sites altogether. I can never be 100% sure that the person they “friend” is a peer. I am always suspicious that the “friend” may, in fact, be an adult posing as a child. It’s no wonder I get very apprehensive about sites that allow children to connect online.
I am sure there are a lot of parents out there like us. And I’m also sure there are many parents who think we need to push our girls out of the nest and let them dabble in social networking. Whatever side of the fence you fall on, bNetS@vvy provides safety tips for adults on how to keep children safe while using social networking sites. One thing is certain: all children will use the sites eventually.
Social Networking Safety Tips for Kids
Monitor Your Child’s Social Networking Use: It is becoming more difficult to monitor your children’s social networking use because many of these sites have mobile companion apps. But you can take the power back and ensure they tell you their username and password so you can check in on them whenever you want to monitor their activity. Also, don’t be afraid to view the recent history on any computer they use. It will help you figure out the sites they frequent and how much time they spend there.
For tweens and teens it is understandable to want to give them space. However, you can join the same social networking sites they’re members of and monitor their use by being connected to them virtually. I know some parents who require their children to friend them on Facebook or else they cannot be a part of the site at all.
Understand Sites’ Privacy Settings: Social networking sites give their users various levels of privacy settings, so just because you are your teen’s friend on Facebook they may have blocked you from seeing some of their posted information. Make sure you understand the privacy settings of each social network and make sure they give you access to all of the information they are sharing with their friends.
Know the Language: Social networking language is far different than the language we use every day. Do you know what “LOL” means? Of course you do. Everybody does. Written by Jennifer James | Sponsored by bNetS@vvy
What about “MOS”. It means “mom over shoulder”. It is important that you learn kid shorthand because you can be sitting right next to your child and have no idea what they are talking about. It’s cool for kids to talk in code, so the more you know, the better. Check out bNetS@vvy’s comprehensive cheat sheet here.
School Your Children on Being Discreet: Oftentimes children do not understand that oversharing can be a bad thing. Make sure they know not to tell the Internet world their real name, address, social security number, phone number, license plate number, date of birth and even their credit card number, if they have one. Scammers are quite crafty and often scam adults. Think about how easy it would be to scam a child.
Remind Your Kids About Permanence: Just because everything on the Internet can be deleted, make sure you stress to your child that once information is posted, it’s out there forever. Make sure yoru your child understands to be careful about the type of information they share online and make them live by this question. When posting tell them to ask themselves would they be embarrassed about what they are going to post if they were face-to-face with their friends. If the answer is yes, they shouldn’t post it.
For more safety tips about social networking, visit bNetS@vvy.
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