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Entries in online safety (1)

Tuesday
Nov152011

Internet Safety for Kids: Parental Supervision is not Invasion of Privacy


Last week I attended one day of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) annual conference in Washington, DC as a guest of AT&T and I was shocked. Here are just a few things I learned, and my thoughts regarding this very important issue. Be sure to download the FOSI State of Online Safety report to motivate you to address online safety with your family.

Did you know....

46% of US parents studied, wtih children age 8-17, do not use parental controls.

Study conducted by FOSI and Hart Research

 

As a mom of young girls who are turning into tweens before my eyes, I know the cell phone / texting thing is not far off. As the wife of a computer expert, my girls are already on their 3rd computer, and they can maneuver around an iPad like anyone's business. They are already on the internet, by themselves, sometimes unsupervised.

Lucky for us, computer expert Dad knows how to install parental controls.

 

Did you know...

58% of teen internet and cell phone users say their parents have been the biggest influence on what they think is appropriate or inappropriate when using the internet or cell phone.

From a study on Teens, Kindness and Cruelty conducted by Pew Research, FOSI, and Cable in the Classroom

I once heard a wise mom say that just when you want to let go of your teenagers because they are all grown up and self-sifficient, that is when they NEED you the most. They need your guidance, your listening skills, and they need you to continue to set boundaries. This is how they learn how to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly when they are out there in the real world by themselves.

AT&T offers 'smart controls' for TV, Internet and phones help parents create an Internet safety plan along WITH their kids.The biggest issue seems to be getting kids involved in the discussion from the start. No teenager wants to have their parents monitor their texts or online discussions. Yet this is exactly what can help them to understand the importance of thinking before you text, tweet, email, or post. If you don't want your parents to see it, why are you putting it out there on the Internet???

 

Did you know...

44% of online teens admit to lying about their age so they could access a website or sign up for an online account.

From a study on Teens, Kindness and Cruelty conducted by Pew Research, FOSI, and Cable in the Classroom

 
Kids need to understand that when you click, "I agree" online, it's as valid as signing your name offline. Be careful what you agree to, and be careful who you share your information with. We learned that 30% of online teens reported sharing one of their passwords with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend. It begs the question, how many teens are not only lying about their age, but about WHO is really behind the online profile? It might not even be the account holder.

We have already had a very serious discussion with our girls about why they cannot sign off on their daily reading log in the space where it says 'parent's signature'. Even if I KNOW they read that night. Even if I forgot to sign it. If I gave them the idea that forging my signature on a homework paper was ok, then it would definitely reduce the importance of an online signature.

Disclosure: I received compensation and attendee pass from AT&T for covering the conference. All opinions are my own and this stuff really does keep me awake at night. This post was neither reviewed nor approved prior to being published.