1. Talk to you children about their privacy settings. As school ends for summer children will be home more now to socialize on networking sites. Get to know who they’re socializing with online as well as off line. This makes it all the more important for parents to be aware of what is going on with their child’s social life; both online and offline. Communication with your child is always key, but parental monitoring software like WebWatcher and WebWatcher Mobile can help ensure that safe socializing on your child’s PC is what is really happening.
2. Disable all GPS/Locator Apps and Settings: This is helpful especially if you don’t want people to know your location. Don’t sign up for Google Latitude, which will allow friends insight into your locale.
3. Create an alternate email address for account sign-ups: If you don’t want to be found, sign up for your social networking sites with a secondary or alternate email address, so when people search for you based on the email in their contact list, they don’t find you. Change the default email to the alternate, new one. You may also consider using one email account when you sign up for sites in an effort to keep your social networking organized.
4. Go Invisible or block and group people you don’t want to talk to: Play with your settings! Most major chat clients will allow you to make yourself invisible or block specific individuals. Check out Facebook’s guide to blocking people for support.
As graduation, the school year end, and the summer months draw near, the month of June also closes with a very important reminder of Internet Safety. June is the official month of Internet Safety!
A recent Huffington Post blog brought up some important reminders as more children celebrate graduation and their summer months off from school and more on to technology and internet surfing to connect with friends and socialize during these off months, parents should take the time to broach the important topic of internet safety:
Quick topic starters:
1. Digital Citizenship
Online social behavior and skills
Online advocacy and empowerment of causes
2. Digital Footprint:
What goes online, stays online
One’s online reputation
3. Online Risks:
Sexting and Cyberbullying (#1 by far!!)
Others (ads, mismanaging the digital footprint)
If communication with your teen is a struggle especially during those turbulent teenage years, there are alternative ways for parents to at the very least have some reassurance in knowing if their teen is experimenting or using drugs and alcohol or not. Parental controls and computer monitoring software like WebWatcher and WebWatcher Mobile make it possible for parents to track their child’s activity both on their PCs and on their Smartphones.
The American Pediatric Association has recently released a report that describes the increase in Internet-related problems for preteens and teens. While the report shows some positive benefits of adolescent use of online social media, they site three worrisome problems: cyberbullying/online harassment, sexting, and Facebook depression.
Facebook depression, according to the report, is defined as “depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression. As with offline depression, preadolescents and adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression are at risk for social isolation and sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs for “help” that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.”
1. Spend more time—a lot more time—with your kids
2. Create a family tech-room
3. Get a strong Internet safety filter: WebWatcher has a powerful website monitoring and blocking functionality feature that will help to keep your child’s internet activity safe and secure.
4. Set curfews and time-limits
5. Rethink and restructure your family culture.
5 Essential Parenting Tips from experts who know 1. Make sure your kids know cyberbullying is wrong and why.
It is critical to frame how harmful cyberbulling can actually be. Parents should communicate and encourage their children to understand the perils of posting cruel information online and what how it is not the best way to handle a situation. Children “also tend to think that what happens digitally ‘doesn’t count’ and that digital abuse doesn’t hurt.”
2. Take an interest in your kids’ online behavior. Today, children are far more tech savvy then their parents and it shows. Parents need to spend some time getting familiar with the new “playground,” the new “colloquialisms” of the new social world that their children are beginning to spend so much time in. Parents should get involved in their children’s online behavior: “make sure your kids know how you expect them to behave toward others online; ask them how they communicate with their friends digitally.”
3. Check school policies on cyberbullying.
“Contact your child’s teacher or a school social worker or administrator and find out whether there is an official policy on cyberbullying. If there is one, read it and discuss it with your kids. If there isn’t a written policy in place, ask about how cyberbullying is handled and whether there are any plans to create an official policy.”
4. Set guidelines about cell-phone usage.
“Many parents give their kids cell phones, so they can stay in closer contact with them. But that’s typically not the reason kids want cell phones. Rather, kids use them to surf the Web, send text messages to friends, update their social-networking status, and share pictures and videos.
5. Use Parental Monitoring Software Parental monitoring software like WebWatcher, and WebWatcher Mobile can help ensure that cyberbullying on your child’s PC is a non-issue. Check out this short video clip for more details:
An update from the School Bullying Council stated that “Schools will have broader authority to crack down on cyberbullying with a new electronic harassment law the Legislature passed this year. If Gov. Peter Shumlin signs the bill, which he is expected to do in the coming weeks, principals and administrators will be able to discipline students who use online methods to harass or bully another student.
Parents should take note that this law identifies cyberbullying in statute for the first time, and it also allows school administrators to suspend or expel a student for an action that does not occur during the school day or on school property.
This makes it all the more important for parents to be aware of what is going on with their child’s social life both online and offline. Communication with your child is always key, but parental monitoring software like WebWatcher, and WebWatcher Mobile can help ensure that cyberbullying on your child’s PC is a non-issue.
Today more of your child’s time is spent socializing online than ever before. For concerned parents it is critical to know who, what, when and how they’re communicating in this new environment. Open dialogue is most certainly encouraged as well as the ues of parental monitoring software like WebWatcher and WebWatcher Mobile which can also help parents keep an eye on their child’s online socializing patterns and behaviors. Parents should also acknowledge that just as offline activities, create an atmosphere and encourage a need in children to belong; online activities also do the same.
According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Participating in social media sites like Facebook could increase your teen’s depression.
According to a result article from About.com, “Seeing one’s friends posting a constant stream of happy, boasting status updates and photos could make teens feel worse about themselves because they are receiving a skewed view of what is going on in their peers’ lives. Social media sites may also contribute to depression by opening up new avenues for bullying and peer pressure. Where in the past these activities might have been limited to the school environment, they can now literally occur anywhere that a teen has access to a computer or cell phone.
This phenomenon of Facebook depression is important, according to the AAP, because teens are spending more time than ever on social media sites.
•22% of teens log onto their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day.
•More than half of teens log on at least once a day.
•75% of teens have cell phones, with 25% of those teens using them for social media, 54% for texting and 24% for instant messaging.
Recommendations for concerned parents:
•Talk to your children about the issues that teens may face online, such as bullying and sexting.
•Educate yourself about the technologies that your children are using.
•Develop a family online-use plan which emphasizes good citizenship and healthy behavior.
•Actively supervise your child’s online activities rather than relying on software to do it for you.
WebWatcher has been rated and reviewed the Top Parental Monitoring Software by PC Magazine for 2011. Neil Rubenking, Lead Analyst for Security at pcmag.com, named WebWatcher Editors’ Choice and highlighted the cloud-based online functionality as a key component for excelling in the industry.
“WebWatcher stores its log data online, so parents can view the logs from any Web-equipped PC. Spector Pro only offers remote viewing from another computer on the local network, and PC Pandora requires a monthly subscription to get reports online…The fact that all configuration and reporting takes place online pushes WebWatcher over the top, making it our new Editor’s Choice for parental monitoring software.”
As consumers become more and more used to accessing their information from anywhere, this built-in feature of WebWatcher will feel very natural. Don’t feel limited when trying to keep your children and family safe ― view all activity instantly online without restriction.
Sexting can most certainly be a draw for teenagers especially during their experimental stages; however, this kind of behavior can carry serious consequences into their future. This is why it is critical for parents to be cognizant of who and what their child is communicating. Parental controls and computer monitoring software like WebWatcher and WebWatcher Mobile make it possible for parents to track their child’s activity both on their PCs and on their Smartphones.
From an article Sexting Carries Lifelong Consequences for Teens: “A nude photo from one phone to another may then be mass-distributed to the recipient’s contacts. From there, the photo could continue its travels, even eventually winding up on the Internet for anyone across the globe to see. What’s more serious is, in addition to suffering humiliation from having such photos exposed to Joe Public, a teen who sends out nude photos may also be charged by state and federal courts for creating and distributing child pornography. If the teen is found guilty of such a charge, she or he not only faces prison time, but would also have to register as a sex offender.”
These kinds of consequences can be major detriments to your child’s bright future. Parents should most certainly at the very least stress the dangers of what sending these messages can actually mean.
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