With technology moving faster than ever, and younger and younger kids navigating the web, it is important that parents understand and can take steps to protect their children’s privacy and reputation online. Here are six quick, easy, and effective things parents can do to help protect their kids as they surf the Internet.
Check your child’s privacy settings on Facebook. With just one mouse click in your child's account information, you can make sure that people they are not “friends” with can’t see their posts, education, or personal information.
Make sure your kids understand the importance of not sharing certain information, like their full name, name of the school they attend, address, age, or phone number with people they (or you) have never met in person.
If your children participate in chat rooms or tweet on Twitter, ask them to remember that they shouldn’t share personal details like their schedules, such as, “After school I’ll be at football practice at the high school field,” or where they are if they are alone or will be alone.
Blogs are places where kids tend to let their guards down. Share with your kids the importance of not telling everyone exactly what they are doing or do on a regular basis through their blog. Encourage them instead to stick to “social” information, such as music, movies, and other wide-spread interests. If your child is blogging, make sure you subscribe to her blog.
If your kids are active in chat rooms, ask that they not use their real names as their blog or chat names that are displayed to other users.
Educate yourself on tools that can help you know where your kids are online, like www.SafetyWeb.com. SafetyWeb is an Internet monitoring program you can use if your child is on Facebook, Twitter, or dozens of other sites where they can share information with the world. The software does not require any download or installation, and you can access it from anywhere via web, mail, or phone.
Just like in the physical world, the more you know about where they spend their time, the more effort you can make to keep them safe.
Denise Terry is the Senior Director of Marketing at SafetyWeb. SafetyWeb.com helps consumers and parents protect their identities, privacy, safety, and reputations online through real-time monitoring and instant alerts.