Get Cyber Safe — Let’s Be Careful Out There!
I participated in this Cyber Safe campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
Click on the banner above to take the Cyber Survivor Challenge!
Cyber Safe Futures for all!
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in partnership with Sprint has developed Cyber Safe Futures to give youth and parents tips and tools to safely navigate an ever-expanding online world. It’s BGCA’s goal for every young person to have a cyber safe future.
Children will be children, teens will be teens, and boys will be boys. When my kids were growing up, each of them tested the limits on the internet from porn to inappropriate contact with girls to lack of privacy controls to poor choices of games and music. Do you have that problem too?
I took the Cyber safety quiz, and I scored 5 out of 7. Even with 4 grown children (24, 23, 22, and 20) who all went through the ramping up of the internet, I still have more to learn and awareness to build. During the course of raising my kids, especially the three boys who were heavy into gaming, I developed a few tips which you might find helpful. I also added tips from Cyber Safe Futures, as even an old dog can learn some new cyber tips!!
Top Ten Tips to help your family be Cyber Safe
- Make sure you “Friend” your children on social networks. Also, know their passwords.
- Be a Cyber Smart parent and help your children be Cyber Safe, hit all these important areas:
- online privacy
- social networking
- mobile smarts
- Keep talking! New Cyber Safe issues come up frequently. Renew and review often with regular conversations
- Google your child’s name often. Set privacy controls!
- Check your child’s phone. Before you give your child their first phone, let them know you will check it periodically.
- Set privacy controls on Facebook tightly.
- 13 is Facebook’s minimum age. Don’t cave in and let a young child start social networking too soon.
- Stay informed. You can’t keep your kids Cyber Safe if you aren’t Cyber Aware! I was surprised to learn that one in three parents believe their teens to be much more tech-savvy than they are.
- Computers remain in public sight. In our house, the kids shared one computer until they were over 17. It stayed in the dining room, facing out so a parent or brother and sister walking by could see it. Files were checked regularly, poor choices were deleted, and suspensions resulted often!
- Phones stay on the kitchen counter at night. Establish a family charging center in a public area. Determine a time of night, where surfing and texting stops. I didn’t do this with my children as smart phones were just becoming mainstream as my kids were leaving high school. I sure would do this now!
What is your family doing to ensure they are CYBER SAFE?
Watch this informative video by the BGCA to see how much you know about Cyberbullying! Then head over to Cyber Safe Futures to watch other videos about online privacy, mobile smarts and social networking.