Summer is in full swing. School is out, we’ve celebrated the 4th and maybe already taken our family vacation. We go back to work and the kids are at home alone. So, do you know what your teens are up to when you’re not with them?
Keeping our kids safe online should be our priority. With virtually unlimited access information 24-hours a day, it’s difficult to monitor every activity. Here are some tips to help you stay informed and keep your kids safe:
Learn the technology. We all joke that our kids know more about computers and devices than we do, but that shouldn’t be the case. Learn all that you can about their devices.
Know the passwords. Have your child give you all of the passwords to their devices and accounts. This goes for their phone, email, facebook, twitter, snapchat, gaming console, etc… every one of them.
Set some ground rules. Talk to your kids about what’s appropriate online behavior and what sites they can visit and who they are allowed to talk to online. If your kids don’t know the “friend” in-person, then they shouldn’t be chatting with them online.
Know where they are. Only 15% of parents use the location service on their child’s phone.
Important statistics learned from McAfee’s 2014 Teens and Screens study:
- 59% engage with strangers online
- 1 our of 12 meet the online stranger
- 33% say they feel more accepted online than in real life
- 50% post their email address
- 30% post their phone number
- 14% post their home address%
- 45% would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were watching
- 53% close or minimize their browsers when their parents walk in the room
- 50% clear their browser history
- 87% have witnessed cyberbullying
- 26% have been the victim of cyberbullying
- 24% don’t know what to do in the event of cyberbullying
These numbers suggest that our kids really don’t fully understand the importance of staying safe online. They feel a sense of security since they are at home, but they are far from it. If you haven’t had the online safety talk with your kids, yet, take some time and discuss it today and get their passwords while your at it.