With digitization on peek it’s essential to understand that keeping kids away from it is not the only way to keep them safe.
However, I do support some basic ground rules for the use of digital technologies but eliminating them of the same is equivalent to depriving them of opportunities as well as keeping them behind the need of times intentionally.
Points below are few quick advice for parents to keep kids safe in the digital age.
Check out below:
- Make your own family media use plan. Media should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. When used thoughtfully and appropriately, media can enhance daily life. But when used inappropriately or without thought, media can displace many important activities.
- Set limits; kids need and expect them. Know your children's friends, both online and off. Know what platforms, software, and apps your children are using, what sites they are visiting on the web, and what they are doing online. Treat media as you would any other environment in your child's life.
- Set limits and encourage playtime. Media use, like all other activities, should have reasonable limits. Unstructured and offline play stimulates creativity.
- Do your homework. More than 80,000 apps are labeled as educational, but little research has demonstrated their actual quality.
- Look to organizations like Common Sense Media for reviews about age-appropriate apps, games and programs to guide you in making the best choices for your children.
- Online relationships are part of typical adolescent development. Social media can support teens as they explore and discover more about themselves and their place in the grown-up world. Just be sure your teen is behaving appropriately in both the real and online worlds.
- Warn children about the importance of privacy and the dangers of predators and sexting. Teens need to know that once content is shared with others, they will not be able to delete or remove it completely, and includes texting of inappropriate pictures.
- We can’t expect our kids to be good digital citizens if we aren’t modeling good citizenship ourselves. “Do what I do” is so much more powerful than “do what I say” in any aspect of parenting.
- Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. Surf the Internet with them. Appreciate your children’s participation in their online communities and show interest in their friends. Try to react constructively when they encounter inappropriate material. Make it a teachable moment.
- Safety and security start with protecting all family computers with a security suite (anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, web browsers, and other software current as well and back up computer files on a regular basis.
- Expand your children’s online experience and their autonomy when developmentally appropriate, as they demonstrate competence in safe and secure online behavior and good decision making.
- Look at the privacy settings available on social networking sites, cell phones, and other social tools your children use. Decide together which settings provide the appropriate amount of protection for each child.
- Help your children identify safe, credible Web sites and other digital content, and be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
- Keep your home computer in a central and open location. If your computer is in the open, you can physically monitor your children while they are online.
- Remind your children to be good “digital friends” by respecting personal information of friends and family and not sharing anything about others that is potentially embarrassing or hurtful.
-Most operating systems allow you to create a different account for each user. Separate accounts can lessen the chance that your child might accidentally access, modify, change settings and/or delete your files. You can set up certain privileges (the things that can and can’t be done) for each account.
- Kids will make mistakes using media. Try to handle errors with empathy and turn a mistake into a teachable moment. But some indiscretions, such as sexting, bullying, or posting self-harm images, may be a red flag that hints at trouble ahead.
What’s your digital advice to all the parents out there?