I am many things I am strong, capable and smart. I am also busy, stressed and like things to be easy. I know this about myself. But parenting isn’t easy, especially when it comes to teens and the internet.
Let’s face it having access to the internet makes parenting harder. After all most teens, these days have smartphones, laptops and gaming consoles with internet access. No matter how diligent we are as parents something is bound to slip by.
So how does a parent keep their child safe especially when said child is in high school or college and you can’t be with them 24/7 anymore?
Well, I’m glad you asked because as a mom of a teenager here are a few tips I’ve learned to help keep my kid safe.
Have The Technology Talk
If you are an employee you probably have an employee handbook somewhere. Maybe you even have a student handbook that was given to you when your child started school these books list the things you can and can not do. They are a guide for being a good employee or student.
Much like these books you need to sit with your teen and discuss what is or isn’t appropriate behavior online. You must give them guidelines and rules in order for them to know what your expectations of them are. This helps to keep our teenagers safe online.
Friend your kids on social networks
I know a lot of people feel friended your child online is strange but being their online friend allows you to see what is happening. Now that said I’m not asking you to comment or like their post but being able to see their activities allows you to be informed.
I also highly recommend never allowing your younger teens to have social accounts without your having full access to them including passwords. This leads me to my next tip.
Be the Holder of All Passwords
As a parent of a teen, you should be able to access all their accounts and devices. They should not have locked phones that you cannot access or profiles you can not get into. All information should be yours to access freely so you are the keeper of all passwords at all times.
Keep Information Private
One of the best ways to keep your teen safe is teaching them to keep their information private. Let them know that posting online is the same as putting an ad in The New York Times, playing it during halftime at the Super Bowl, and reading it over the loudspeaker during morning announcements at their school. It is out there for all to see.
To help keep their information as well as yours safe consider investing in a VPN(Virtual Private Network). We like them since it masks your IP address so sites can’t track you and store your data without your permission. This means sites like Google have a harder time building a profile on my teen. ProPrivacy has a lot of information if you want to learn more, along with reviews if you decide to invest in one.
Be A Good Role Model
I have always been a firm believer in doing what I tell others to do. If I can’t follow the rules I lay down for my teens how can I expect them to follow them? So all technology rules that apply to my teen apply to me. We have to be the example of who we want our children to. If want them to be kind, we have to show kindness. If we want them to be confident we have to show confidence. If we want them to be smart online we have to show responsibility online.