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In This Episode:

  • Internet safety is really more about the relationship with our children than it is about the technology.
  • It’s important to know more than our kids about the internet.
  • It’s like teaching our kids how to drive – teaching them the specifics, then giving them expectations, and then moving forward with trust.  
  • Training our kids how to be safe on line is so important.  
  • Teaching them how to navigate the internet responsibly is key!
  • The child/parent relationship is so important!
  • Mark recommends teaching children to come to their parents when they see things on the internet that they are unsure of, embarrassed, or nervous about.
  • Some children have such advanced technological knowledge, so it is important to keep up to date and have access to monitor.  
  • Sometimes children will “friend” a parent on a social media account, but then create another account that the parent may not know about.
  • Mark talks about Digital Citizenship, being a good person online.   Having good character is so important.
  • Cyberbullying can be so painful.  We want our children to know at the core of their being – who they are.  
  • Ask your child “What kind of person do you want to be?” before online situations come up.
  • Sometimes children wake up in the middle of the night to access their electronics.  After-hours access can be prevented by designating a charging station, taking away phones, turning of the Wifi, turning of service provider, etc.  It is really helpful to set the example by putting their phones away after a certain time as well.   It’s really about trusting your kids and trusting them to abide by the rules that you agreed to as a family.
  • It’s so important for kids to get enough sleep.  It’s important really for everyone to get sleep – including parents. Getting texts at night can cause us to lose sleep.  Also, children may not be as willing to go to sleep and rest will with the temptation of the technology within their reach.
  • It is SO IMPORTANT to be aware of what apps your children are downloading and using.  Mark tells us about a story where a girl downloaded an app that had pictures of girls in swimwear uploaded on it.  In that situation, the app was written by an international company with different laws about privacy.  Parents should be aware and cautious about apps.
  • Mark tells us about a story where a father and daughter played online games together.  It helped with online safety risk level and strengthened their relationship by enjoying something they both loved together.
  • Relationship building is KEY!
  • Tom (my husband) asked if there is a way to monitor all of the internet activity from the various devices.  Mark mentioned that there’s some software that can monitor some activity, but nothing that he knows about that can cover everything such as gaming devices, phones, incognito tabs, etc in with one service or device.  Mark recommends creating a master admin account for yourself, then creating an account with parental controls for the children.
  • Mark mentioned that some apps can be deceptive, such as ones that look like a calculator app but turn into a file manager when a certain number is entered to access a part of the app that can be used to upload and download files.
  • Mark says that there isn’t a way for technology to totally keep your child safe, the key is to be aware as a parent and build a strong and meaningful connection with your kids that incorporates training, expectations, setting good examples, and trust. 
  • Educate your child. Tell them how be responsible online and how to overall just be a good person.  
  • Mark said to contact him directly if you have any questions.  http://www.safeonlinechild.com