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1. Become a tech-savvy parent.
Being informed is one of the best safeguards against dangers posed by the Internet and social media. Don’t let the fact that your kids might know more about specific apps or programs keep you from engaging the technology that they are using.
Here are two resources that can help you stay abreast in the area of technology:
2. Communicate with your kids.
Develop an on-going dialogue with your children about their online activities and overall internet safety. As parents, we might be tempted to shy away from these conversations, especially if we feel intimidated by technology. While it might not be fun admitting our children know more that we do about a subject, staying in constant communication about technology helps to set the boundaries that are needed in the area of technology. If our children are allowed to use technology, we must be prepared as parents to talk about it.
3. Agree on a game plan.
Establish the ground rules for technology in your home. It is always easier to talk about things before there is an actual issue. There are great pre-written game plans available online that you and your children can discuss and each sign individually, or you might want to look at some of these and modify them for your own family.
Here are three game plans you can use ‘as is’ or to help get you started:
4. Protect your computers and online devices.
Every evil known to man is available with just a few clicks on the Internet. There isn’t one, “magic bullet” solution for online safety that covers every scenario, so the best solution is to ensure you take care of these three needs in every household:
- Make sure all laptop and desktop computers have Internet filtering software installed.
- Make sure you have filtering software installed on your children’s mobile devices (if possible for their particular device).
- Install filtering software on your home network in order to ensure all devices connected to your network are protected from inappropriate content.
Here are three software solutions to consider to take care of these three needs:
Covenant Eyes: Use Promo Code: Ragamuffin for FREE 30-day trial
Offers accountability and filtering for computers and will have filtering available for mobile devices soon. (UPDATE: We said on the show that Covenant Eyes would be doing filtering for mobile devices soon and we got the email yesterday stating that they now have filtering available for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches!)
SafeEyes: Offers filtering and time limits for computers and mobile devices.
Circle by Disney: Offers filtering, the ability to set time limits, and pauses the internet.
Circle is a beautiful, easy-to-use device that allows you to manage all of your home’s connected devices without having to get an IT degree. With Circle, parents can filter content, limit screen time and set a bedtime for every device in the home!
5. Explore the Internet as a Family.
While the temptation might be to shut down all technology, technology can also open the door to many exciting opportunities as well. Take a genuine interest in what your children are learning and what they are doing online. Stay engaged with them and spend time surfing the Internet with them.
We have a recording of our webinar entitled “Parenting in a Sex-Saturated Culture: Protecting Your Children From Porn and Perversion” available on the Route1520 website. Click the link below for access to this one-hour and 20 minute webinar that deals with Internet safety, cyberbullying, sexting, and many other topics that are important for parents to know and understand.
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