Where on one hand growing up a toddler often brings sweat even in chilly weather; on the other hand, policing teens online makes parents go unnerved! Yet, it is an essential part of parenting teen kids and you have no other choice but to take care of your child’s online safety.
Below are top cyber safety tips for your teen kid.
#1 Check your child’s presence on social networking sites
This is one of the areas where kids sacrifice their safety the most. Kids often publish their pictures, give away personal information, and don’t take any care of privacy settings. This makes checking your child’s presence on the social networking sites exceptionally important. If you’re already not on any of these sites popular with the teens, create your place soon. Search your child on these sites without adding her on your friend-list to check if your child really follows the privacy settings or not. Explain the importance of the privacy settings to her.
Cyber bullying – a term that defines all kinds of bullying activities across the digital and cyber world, now occupies really important place in every student, teacher and parent’s mental framework. If records are to be believed, about 95% of teenaged social media users have witnessed bullying and cruel behavior online in some or other form (according to PEW Internet Research Center, records 2011); text bullying is getting more and more common (University of New Hampshire, research in 2011); 43% of teens between the age group of 13 and 17 have faced some or other form of cyber bullying (Harris Interactive Trends & Tudes, report 2007).
Why do people bully; tease; trouble or behave rudely to anyone at all?
Asking you whether or not your child accesses the Internet would be like asking somebody if he wears shoes, drinks water, goes movies and sleeps at night! The presence of Internet in our and our kids’ lives is so subtle and vital that we just can’t think a life without it.
But does your child uses the Internet the safe way? Are you really aware of what your child does online? Who are his friends? What things he accesses online? Yes, you NEED TO know it ALL!! It is really important. If you think it isn’t very important; check out local dailies, the news channels, or talk to people around you and you’ll get to see the really horrendous face of the cyber world.
Ask kids – if it is easy, safe and useful to own a smart phone, they’ll never answer you in negation but when you ask the same to their parents, you get a kind of mixed emotions – some feel happy and safe in letting their kids to have their own cell phones whereas some feel like a perfect paranoid and find it a risky business.
Even when the battle on “to possess” or “not to possess” a cell phone continues pretty well; you can always find kids to have their own cell phones and even the smart phones. Now if you belong to the brigade of suspecting parents, you’ll always feel like restricting your child from owning a personal cell phone.
Do you suspect your child to communicate with dangerous strangers? Or it is her limitless Internet usage that bothers you? Perhaps, you’re worried about your child’s addictive texting, chatting or online game playing?
Here’s one great solution for all your worries, mental stress, and excessive botheration for your kids safety. Simply put your child’s digital device usage under surveillance. Did the idea surprise you? Now, don’t be over imaginative and stop imagining your child living in a home with hundreds of cameras keeping a close watch over her; and if you have started considering your home like a mini jail, where your child is asked hundred million questions every time she uses her phone, you’re wrong again! That’s weird, seriously, it is.
When most teens are text-aholic and just can’t separate themselves from their cell phones; texting while driving is taking a most damaging shape. Now if you are a parent and often find your child engrossed with the phone, you seriously need to check if texting is going hand in hand with driving in your child’s life.
You can’t take it lightly as it is much more than just dangerous to send text messages while driving. In fact, according to accident stats, there are more cases of vehicular crashes because of mobile use while driving compared to the accidents taking place because of other factors like drunk driving.
What most kids do just for fun sake sometimes turn out to be a perilous misadventure, and in just a span of few seconds everything gets out of control. And giving away personal information on the Internet, announcing geographical location, or befriending a complete stranger has quite a same story.
# Case Study: Ashley’s Story (name and events are fictitious)
Ashley, a 13 year old, got best grades in her term end exams and demanded a smart phone from her father as a gift. Overwhelmed with joy because of her academic success, he bought her a brand new iPhone. She was happy to have it.Now, this was her new toy that brought every possible entertainment right in her device. She’d play games, chat with her friends, send text messages to her friends and so on. Soon she was on all the popular social networking sites and found them great source of entertainment. Her adventure ride took her to sending friend request to every second person she’d find to be a mutual friend on Facebook. Soon most of the adults from her mum and dad’s friend list were on her friend list too.