This post was inspired and sponsored by Domain.ME, the provider of the personal URLs that end in .ME. As a company, they aim to promote leadership to the tech world.
We are a social universe. You walk down the street and what do you see? People with their faces in their phones. Do you see people talking to each other while waiting for the bus, no, they are checking their email, or watching the latest youtube video. Today, information is at your fingertips and with each generation that passes, this becomes more and more commonplace. Soon, our youth will be learning how to “Google” before they completely know how to read, or so it seems.
This information overload and technological overrun, has both a light and dark side. Being able to access information and knowledge at a moment’s notice can lead to the genesis of a literate overall society. However, it also opens the door to safety concerns that all parents must be aware of and thus be able to make their children’s digital safety a priority. A part of this requires parents to take an active role in teaching their kids about what digital safety is all about, and what to watch out for as they are online.
3 Ways Your Kids Could Be At Risk?
- Not All Search Terms Mean What Kids Think – Too often young kids spell items thinking that they mean one thing when in fact the search results bring up things that are not what you would want them finding. This is particularly true on sites like Youtube.com. However, if you are savvy enough to turn on some of the security and filter options, you can safeguard your kids from many of the most inappropriate sites that they might find on their own.
- Not All People Are Who They Say They Are – Just like adults have to be wary of who they give their personal information out to, you have to teach your kids the same. Kids must know to never give their full name out to anyone, let alone their address or any other information that would allow someone to find out where they live.
- Cyberbullying is a Real Thing – There have been story after story lately about many situations where this has occurred. Especially in social media, sometimes people that your children will be “friends” with may be there with ulterior motives that are contrary to what you would teach your own kids.
3 Ways You Can Help!
- Get To Know Security Features – Get to know the security functions of the programs on your computer. BY knowing these you have the ability to augment and adjust to either cut back access to information or at least curtail specific information to make sure that family-friendly content reaches your children.
- Talk to Kids About What To Share – There is something about social networks that can draw you in. You can get to be a bit manic as you watch for the most up-to-date followers, comments or the like. It is important to talk to your kids about what these things are and what they stand for. Once kids understand this, it is also important to talk about what you respond to and how to respond, as too often people can take post sentiments to heart and beat themselves up over small trivial matters.
- Set Up A Safe Space For Your Kids – Make sure to set up a safe environment for your kids to talk to you about their concerns, questions and the like – no matter what they are. Make sure that no question or concern is out of bounds because you want your kids to be comfortable approaching you with things they are seeing, hearing about and the like as they begin to search for themselves.
While these risk factors and tips are just ones that scratch the surface, as a parent you have to take control of your children’s digital safety so that they can learn great strategies and habits that will stay with them as they get older and want even more access to information. Setting up boundaries and parameters now, you will have the ability to get them ready for a lifetime of good habits in the future and keep them safe too!
Some Additional Resources & Articles
- Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
- Common Sense Media
- National Children’s Advocacy Center
- Huffington Post
- The Guardian
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