Let’s face it, most of our kids are consumed with the digital age. Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Snapchat and other sites are allowing our kids to share more personal information than many parents would like.
So how do you, as a parent who cares about your child, monitor his or her social media activities? Here are some ideas that will help you stay aware of your child’s “digital footprint” on the internet.
According to the website kidsinthehouse.com, the first thing we have to do as parents is get over the ideas that checking on our children’s online activities is a bad thing-it’s not. Dorothy Espelage, a child development professor, says that by monitoring your child’s online activities you can keep them safe from dangerous people and situations.
One really basic idea to control your child’s online activity, especially for younger children, is to use passwords on devices. That way, the child will have to gain access to that device by asking you to log-in for them.
It’s important for parents to talk with their kids about the dangers of sharing personal information over the internet. It’s also okay to share stories that may be a bit uncomfortable to discuss to make sure your kids understand the dangers that lurk online
Therese M. Paynton, a cyber security expert, recommends that social media sites not be accessible in the bedroom where internet crimes against kids are likely to occur. By keeping computers in common areas of the house, parents are able to see what kids are doing when they walk by, at any time.
Another important idea is to befriend your child on social media sites to see what they’re posting.
Social media sites can be fun for kids and parents alike but it’s important to face the reality that there are people who want to lure our kids into bad and dangerous situations.
It’s our job as parents to make sure we are aware of what our kids are doing online so we can protect them.