INTERNET SAFETY FOR PARENTS
LYSB offers private appointments with parents to assist them with internet safety issues.
• Are confidential and private
• Teach parents how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media.
• Help parents determine if their child’s internet use is inappropriate or dangerous.
• Provide resources to help you establish safe internet use for your family.
• All inquiries are confidential.
The Latest RESOURCES:
YourSphere – an excellent website with resources for parents. Subscribe to their newsletter for tips and tricks on various social media sites popular with kids
Even the most computer savvy parents might need an education about online trends among youth. Technology is changing and your kids might know more than you do about computers and the internet. But that doesn’t mean you give up your parental rights on this issue.
LYSB encourages all families to adopt a Family Internet Plan. Basic safety rules should be discussed as a family and consequences set. Families should revisit plans every year to update the agreement because rules for a 9th grader and a 4th grader are very different.
LYSB has received several inquiries recently about children on the internet, and specifically the use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. These are popular sites among teens in our community. Parents need to know how these sites work and about the potential dangers. New sites crop up all the times such as Ask.fm, a popular social networking site where users can invite questions from other users on the site or from anonymous users.
On Facebook, users create a profile that includes personal information. The problem is that many kids post identifying information (full name, address, location, photos, age, school, etc.) Also very disturbing to us is the sexually provocative nature of photos and language used by the kids. These sites encourage kids to have a large number of “friends”, and that means strangers.
Wifi is everywhere. Smartphones and iPods are little computers in your pocket, and can access the internet and Facebook anywhere.
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO
Does your child have a page or account on one of these sites? Ask your child if they have one. Ask them to show you the site and TOGETHER review the content. If you find inappropriate information, do not overreact. This problem needs to be solved together. Ask your kids to show you how the website works. Together decide if your child’s page should be removed or edited. Remove any photos and identifying information. Take note of how many “friends” your child has on their site.
Most kids have no idea they are giving away too much information. This is a learning process for everyone.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
- Kids may feel that you invaded their privacy if you snoop. Be prepared for that reaction.
- EXPLAIN to your children than when they’re online, they are in PUBLIC. Anyone can find them. If you found their page, then so could neighbors, friends, AND strangers.
- NEVER allow a computer in a child’s room. Keep computers in family areas of the house. This can’t be stressed enough but is very hard to do because wifi is everywhere.
- NEVER post identifying information.
- NEVER talk to strangers – in public – or online. There is no way to know if strangers are really who they claim to be.
- DO NOT allow your child to register for any site that requires a password, unless they get permission from you first. Set up a “family password” that you both can use to log onto sites. No secret passwords allowed.
- NEVER agree to meet someone you have met online.
- When your kids are online, frequently (and casually) ask them what they’re doing, who they’re talking to.
- LIMIT the amount of time kids can spend online.
- NO Internet use when kids are home alone.
- ENFORCE your rules. You are the parent and you CAN take away internet access. Consider removing all your child’s “screens” for a period of time.
- Encourage your child to come to you if they run into a problem or uncomfortable situation online.
- Keep the conversation going. This is not a one-time conversation.
Internet Safety information for families: www.wiredsafety.org
Do you know what all those acronyms mean? LOL (laugh out loud) POS (parent over shoulder). How about YOLO? For an acronym translator visit http://www.netlingo.com/acronyms.php
TeenAngels: Teens providing internet safety tips for teens and parents
If you would like more information, please call our Director at 860-434-7208 x202 or email email@example.com. All inquiries are confidential.