Parents are being proactive in their discussion on social Media, internet security & cyberbullying, but is that enough? At a recent presentation I did at an elementary school in Niagara (Ontario), I shared some social media and internet security tips. Parents are eager to learn, but the challenge is always how to keep up.
Digital communications are something many adults engage with on a regular basis. However, the challenge is the continuous learning needed to stay up-to-date to understand how to keep our children safe when on the internet and how to to help them develop good usage habits.
We remember the days when we had to wait until our brother or sister got off the phone so we could call a friend, or had to get up to change the channel on the TV, or browsed through encyclopedias when we had a project due for school. For our children, online communication through Social Media, texting, and Video Game consuls are the norm. They have access to their friends 24/7 (if allowed) with their mobile phones, and anything they want to learn, they just Google it.
How as parents do we keep up with the technology? What are the risks to online communications? How do we manage cyberbullying? What can we do to protect them?
As a parent myself, I continue to ask these questions and seek answers. But the more answers I find, the more questions are out there. Digital technology is evolving at a tremendous rate with no hint of slowing down. Digital communications are here to stay and we must keep our children safe. We must be vigilant in our learning and teaching them the skills and guidelines they need to be responsible adults ‘in-training’. As they grow and become more independent, we must teach them the guiding principals and disciplines to help them make safe, wise & respectful decisions on their own.
The information found for this presentation was taken from many articles and resources I found online, as well as my expertise in the area of Public Relations and Social Media. But I must
Internet & Social Media Safety Tips for Parents
1. Teach your children to beware of strangers bearing gifts
Do you remember the ’Stranger-danger’ lessons we learned as children? Do not accept candy or gifts from people you don’t know. Do not talk to strangers. Do not go anywhere with a stranger, These lessons are still very important for our children, but now the discussions we must have with our children, needs to include warning them about strangers that lurk in the very ‘real’ virtual world of the internet. Because we can’t see them in bodily form, sometimes explaining what those strangers ‘look’ like, and what kind of gifts they bear, can be a hard message to get across. Strangers can more easily be disguised in the virtual world, so we as parents need to be vigilant.
2. If you don’t do it face-to-face, don’t do it online
Social Media is an amplifying tool. It can be used to spread the good news and accolades of others; to encourage, endorse, and share
3. Once you post it, it is out there… PERMANENTLY!
Before you press the POST or SEND button, remember that the words, photos, and videos will be permanently
4. Have a set of questions that you encourage them to think through every time they post, so that when they are old enough to do it on their own, it will be second nature to them.
- Are the words encouraging or uplifting to others?
- Do I have permission to post these photos or videos?
- Is there anything private in this message or image that may expose/harm myself or others?
- Who will be able to see or share this?
There may be others that you come up with as
More Tips included in the Social Media & Internet Security Presentation | Parenting Tips | Nov. 2015