Thanks to rapidly growing technology we have the world at our fingertips. While this is generally a positive thing, sometimes it can be a negative thing for our children. Kids are more likely to make bad decisions online. They are more likely to post things they will later regret, post inappropriate photos, and get involved with dangerous strangers. It is a parent’s duty to protect their child, and there are a bevy of parental filters, blocks, and apps to keep your child safe. But when does protecting turn into stalking?
Here are some tips to help you navigate through the sensitive issues that can arrive from our electronic overload while “keeping” your children safe.
- Talk with your kids about the dangers of online predators and viruses, as well as the responsibility that comes with free speech. Having an open and honest discourse with your kids is always wise and can lead to mutual respect to ensure their protection.
- Set up ground rules about what social media sites are allowed and those that are not. Give your kids a chance to obey the rules before you block them.
- Choose a parental filter that everyone is comfortable with. There are many different levels of “spy” technology, from getting every single text, email, or phone call quietly delivered to you from simply seeing what web pages were visited. Here are a few sites to consider: “Connect” allows you to monitor your friends and family’s social media all on one site. “Trick or Tracker” gives a GPS location on your child’s smart phone and alerts you when they’ve gone outside their agreed parameters.
Whether you are a protective parent or more lenient, it is always a good idea to talk to your kids about the Internet. It’s your job to keep them informed and to never turn a blind eye to their online activity.
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For more information contact Ann Zuraw @ZurawFinancialAdvisors.com