A few years ago parents were concerned with the whereabouts of their children at night, now it has changed to whereabouts of their children on the internet at night and whether their kids are doing safe social networking or not. Well, it’s not so funny if the security implications are taken into consideration.
Social Network is the happening thing now, to deny this fact would be a foolish act of denying the inevitable. It is perhaps now the most sought after recreation for old and teens alike. But the craze with which younger people, that is to say, 20-somethings hit this form of entertainment is to be seen to be believed. But as with everything good, this comes with a drawback too. The constantly growing desire of increasing one’s circle of friends may lead to include someone whose intentions might not be friendly. The nation’s consumer protection agency, Federal Trade Commission, has offered some tips and tricks to help you, help your children to do safe social networking.
Few basic steps to follow for Safe Social Networking:
- The first step to safe social networking begins with keeping your computer in the common area, so that you would able to keep an eye on your kid’s online activity and monitor them from a distance without breathing down their necks and being too obvious.
- Use the internet with your kids. Look into the sites that they visit. Learn the new technologies. This can not only help you have a better understanding of your kids mindset but help you set better guidelines for them as well, not to mention the extensive knowledge that you would gain by keeping up to date about new and upcoming technologies.
- Give your children the 101 course of safe social networking to be followed while using the internet. The habits that need to be pruned and the cautiousness that needs to be maintained at all times on the social networking sites. Advise your children on the implications of sharing Financial stats, Age, Phone Numbers, Social Security Number, and any such information which could lead to a major security breach to your household’s private space.
- Let your kids know that once information is posted on the internet, it is there forever. So they should be very cautious as to what they post. Also it should be something you and your kids are both aware and comfortable with, since it can be seen by all, from a policeman to a thief with basic computer knowledge.
- Warn your kids about chatting up with strangers on-line. Divulging information to a stranger may lead to heavy repercussions. Let your kids know that there is no way a person can tell whether someone is lying on the internet. Tell your kids that they should go by their instincts and if need be inform you if something or someone does not feel right. You may also go ahead and inform the police and your internet service provider if the need arises so that you may help someone else from falling a prey to the same situation.
- If you are concerned by what you think is risky online behavior, check the sites frequented by your kids to check the content of their postings. You may search by their names, nick names, hobbies, area where you live, etc. This will help you keep a tab and let you know if your advice is being followed or not.
It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure that their kids follow all the best practices of safe social networking. Monitoring your kids online activity helps you protect your kids privacy & safety and keep them away from unwanted dangers. That is the best parenting advice that I can give at this point.