Tips For Parents and Guardians
I recently came accross a great website called lindenhurststrangerdanger.com and Raising Arizona Kids magazine. They had some great information about child dangers and internet safety tips for kids. The following presentation and information I think we can all live by.
Making Social Media Safe for Kids Sponsored by: Chi’s Martial Arts Personal Safety Programs
- Presentation Goals
- Explain the various privacy settings on the major social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace)
- Share tips on teaching your kids about social media and communicating online
- Provide resources for further research
*It is much easier to talk to your kids about being safe online, if you are using the tools themselves. We strongly suggest setting up accounts on the sites we discuss.
- Set-up an account on www.facebook.com
- Minimum age is 13
- To open your profile, click on your name.
- To change your privacy settings, go to the ‘Account’ tab
- Click on the ‘Privacy Settings’ link
- Privacy Settings
- First click on ‘Personal Information and Posts’
- Children’s profiles should be set to be viewed by ‘Only Friends’
- For older children, you can set-up groups that are blocked from viewing certain information.
- For example, pictures are not viewable by contacts labeled as ‘Professional’
- To create labels for your child’s friends, click ‘Edit Friends’ under the ‘Account’ Tab
- All your child’s friends will appear. Click the drop down menu next to each name to label.
- Back under Privacy Settings, you should also check your child’s search restrictions.
- Children should be searchable only to friends and should not appear in public search results.
- Set-up an account at www.myspace.com
- Minimum age is 13
- Less privacy settings and minimal control over profile compared to Facebook
- This is an example of a profile page.
- To view privacy settings, click on ‘My Account’ tab
- Children’s profiles should be restricted to ‘My friends only’
- Photos should not be permitted to be shared or emailed
- Set-up account at www.twitter.com
- No minimum age
- Everything public and available to search engines (unless protected profile)
- This is what your home page will look like.
- Click on ‘Settings’ to change privacy settings
- Child’s username should not reflect their real name
- Others should not be able to find by email address
- Tweet location should not be checked
- At the bottom of the screen, you will see a box for protect my tweets.
- Checking this box will give you complete control over who sees your information, and tweet stream.
- A child’s profile should not have their location or a picture of themselves.
- Other Tools
- Parents should also be aware of the following social media sites/tools:
- Chatroulette is a video messaging tool that assigns you to chat with random people.
- There have been several reports of inappropriate behavior and nudity.
- Foursquare is a geo-location application that awards points for ‘check-ins’ at businesses, points-of-interest, etc.
- A child’s location should not be broadcasted. Predators could pick up on patterns and schedules.
- Benefits of social media for kids
- Opportunity to practice communication skills at a younger age:
- Blogs: Kids express themselves, learn to form paragraphs and establish a flow in their writing
- Connect with out-of-state family and friends
- Opportunity to establish themselves and profile projects for colleges/jobs
- Teaching your kids about social media
- Establish expectations at an early age:
- Phones: Overages must be paid by child, restricted phones for younger kids (only dial home, 9-1-1)
- Never give out personal information: address, phone, email, etc.
- Don’t click on links that you don’t know who they’re from
- Only watch YouTube when parents are in the room
- Limit time on Internet to when parents are home or for certain length (1 hour after dinner, when homework is done)
- Resources Search "internet safety" on www.raisingarizonakids.com
- Resources (cont.)
- Watch PBS Frontline episode “Growing Up Online”
- http://www. pbs .org/ wgbh /pages/frontline/ kidsonline /
- For more information on particular tools:
- www. facebook .com/safety
- To watch the video of the “Making Social Media Safe for Kids” panel discussion, visit:
- Special Thanks to:
- Oden Hughes
- Jeff Moriarty
- Karen Barr
- Tyler Hurst
- Casaundra Brown
- Calie Waterhouse
- Devon Adams
- The Unwin Family
MADCAP Theater Social Media Club Phoenix Raising Arizona Kids East Valley Tribune Charlene Kingston SocialReflections.com Banner Health PV Mom's Club
Allowing kids to go online without supervision or ground rules is like allowing them to explore a major metropolitan area by themselves.
The Internet, like a city, offers an enormous array of entertainment and educational resources but also presents some potential risks.
Kids need help navigating this world. Kids go online almost anywhere. They surf the Internet and send messages from a home computer or one at a friend’s home, library, or school. Kids connect at coffee shops and other “hotspots” using laptops and wireless connections.
Internet-enabled, video-game systems allow them to compete against and chat with players around the world.
Wireless devices enable kids to surf the Web and exchange messages, photographs, and short videos from just about anywhere.
Where Do Kids Connect?
You can’t watch your kids every minute, but you do need to use strategies to help them benefit from the Internet and avoid its potential risks. By exploring the Internet with your kids, you greatly expand its capacity as
an educational tool. By providing guidance and discussion along the way, you increase kids’ online skills and confidence along with their ability to avoid potential risks. And you might be surprised by what kids teach you at
the same time.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, 23 percent of nursery school children in the United States use the Internet, 32 percent of kindergartners go online, and by high school 80 percent of children use the Internet.
We at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) urge you to do one of the single most important things to promote safety — begin a dialogue with your kids about the rewards and potential risks of Internet use. We also encourage you to visit the NetSmartz® Workshop at www.NetSmartz.org and NetSmartz411SM at www.NetSmartz411.org or call 1-888-NETS411 (638-7411) to learn more about online safety.
It’s up to parents and guardians to assess the potential risks and benefits of permitting their kids to use the wide range of Internet websites and applications available. This brochure provides a list of the most popular
online activities for kids along with the strategies for and benefits of reducing the potential risks associated with those activities.
U.S. Department of Education, “Rates of Computer and Internet Use by Children in Nursery School and Students in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade: 2003,” in Issue Brief, October 2005, page 1, accessed February 9, 2009, at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2005//2005111rev.pdf.
Browsing the Internet
Browsing the Internet is like having the world’s largest library and entertainment system at your fingertips. Kids are able to read stories, tour museums, visit other countries, play games, look at photographs, shop, and do research to help with homework. Kids may come across websites containing adult images or demeaning, racist, sexist, violent, or false information.
Many Internet service providers (ISPs) offer filters to prevent kids from accessing inappropriate websites. Contact your ISP about what safesearch options they offer. Remember, as a consumer you have a right to choose an ISP with the services meeting your family’s needs.
Choose search engines carefully. Some are specifically designed for kids, and others offer kid-safe options.
Tell kids when they come across any material making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused to immediately tell you or another trusted adult. Help kids find information online. By searching the Internet together you help
them find reliable sources of information and distinguish fact from fiction. It is hard for kids to distinguish reliable sources of information from less reliable ones. Some believe because information is posted online it must be true.
Adults and kids use e-mail to communicate rapidly and cost-effectively with people all over the world. E-mail transmits messages, documents, and photographs to others in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Kids are able to set up private accounts through free Web-based, e-mail services without asking permission from parents or guardians. Anyone using e-mail is vulnerable to receiving “spam,” messages from people or companies encouraging recipients to buy something, do Potential Risks
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
Talk with your kids about their e-mail accounts, and discuss the potential risks involved. Remind them to never share passwords with anyone but you, not even their closest friends.
Before you sign up with a service provider, research the effectiveness of its spam filters. You may also purchase spam-filter software separately. Teach kids not to open spam or e-mails from people they don’t know in
person. Remind them not to respond to any online communication in a sexually provocative way. Ask them to show you suspicious communications.
If your kids receive e-mail containing threats or material making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused, report it to your service provider. Your provider’s address is usually found on their home page.
something, or visit a particular website. Spam may be sexually suggestive or offensive in other ways.
Senders sometimes disguise themselves, pretending to be someone else — a friend or acquaintance, a well-known bank, a government agency — for illicit purposes. This is known as phishing.
Instant Messaging (IM) allows adults and kids to have conversations in “real time” through their computer. IMing is particularly appealing to kids who use abbreviated lingo to communicate with each other. Most IM services
offer a feature showing a user’s contacts, known as a “buddy list,” which tells the user whether a “buddy” is online and available to chat.
IM is one method used to cyberbully, harass, or intimidate others. It may also be used to engage kids in a sexually explicit conversation. IM interactions may go from an innocent conversation to a sexually explicit or otherwise
inappropriate exchange without warning.
Social-networking websites allow kids to connect with their friends and other users with similar interests. Kids socialize and express themselves by exchanging instant messages, e-mails, or comments and posting photographs, creative writing, artwork, videos, and music to their blogs and personal profiles.
Some 55% of online teens have profiles on a social-networking website such as Facebook or MySpace.
A survey of 10 to 17 year olds revealed 34% had posted their real names, telephone numbers, home addresses, or the names of their schools online where anyone could see; 45% had posted their dates of birth or ages; and 18% had posted pictures of themselves.
Remind kids to IM only people they know in real life and who have been approved by you.
Use privacy settings to limit contact to only those on your child’s buddy list. Make sure other users cannot search for your child by his or her e-mail address and username.
Make sure both your kids and you are familiar with the blocking features available on most IM services. Tell your kids to block any sender they don’t know who IMs them.
Take the time to learn the online lingo used by kids so you understand what they are talking about with each other.
What’s a P911? It’s shorthand for “parent alert” — a code some kids use to let others know a parent or guardian is watching. If you have trouble translating your kids’ online “lingo,” visit www.NetSmartz.org. There you’ll find a list of popular terms and abbreviations used in IM and chatrooms.
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
Some websites and services ask users to post a “profile” with their age, sex, hobbies, and interests. While these profiles help kids “connect” and share common interests, potential exploiters may pretend to be someone else and can and do use these profiles to search for victims.
Kids sometimes compete to see who has the greatest number of contacts and will add new members to their lists even if they don’t know them in person.
Kids can’t “take back” the online text and images they’ve entered. Kids may post information and images that are provocative and inappropriate. Once online, “chat” as well as other Web postings become public information.
Anything posted online may be saved and forwarded to an unlimited number of users. Remind kids once images are posted they lose control of them and can never get them back.
Kids have been reprimanded by their school administrators and families; denied entry into schools; and even not hired because of dangerous, demeaning, or harmful information found on their personal websites or blogs.
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
Urge kids to use privacy settings to restrict access to profiles so only those on their contact lists are able to view them.
Remind kids to only add people they know in person to their contact lists.
Encourage them to choose appropriate screennames or nicknames — such as those that refer to sports and interests, but are not sexual, violent, or offensive. Make sure the name doesn’t include information
revealing their identity or location.
Visit social-networking websites with your kids, and exchange ideas about what you think is safe and unsafe. Ask your kids about the people they are communicating with online.
Insist your kids never give out personal information or arrange to meet in person with someone they’ve met online without first checking with you.
Encourage your kids to think before typing, “Is this message hurtful or rude?” Also urge your kids not to respond to any rude or harassing messages or ones making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
Have them show you such messages.
Cellular Telephones/Wireless Devices and Texting
Many parents and guardians look at cellular telephones as a necessity for their kids. It is reassuring to know they may reach you or call for help in an emergency. Cellular telephones/wireless devices may also be used to send
text messages, images, and videos.
Cellular telephones make it easy for kids to communicate with others without their parents’ or guardians’ knowledge.
Kids are increasingly using cellular telephones/wireless devices to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves and send them to their friends. Once these photographs are sent, there is no way of getting them back. In some instances children have been prosecuted for production of child pornography for taking these pictures.
Kids may also take embarrassing or revealing photographs of others and post them to the Internet, leaving victims few options to defend or protect themselves from this form of bullying.
Posting Videos and Photographs Online Webcams, cellular telephones, and digital cameras allow kids to post videos, photographs, and audio files online and engage in video conversations.
Kids often use this equipment to see each other as they IM and chat.
Webcams are often used to help kids stay in touch with family members and friends including traveling parents and guardians and those living in other areas.
Create rules about the appropriate use of cellular telephones/wireless devices and set limits, including who your kids may communicate with nd when they may use their cellular telephones/wireless devices Review cellular-telephone/wireless-device records for any unknown numbers and late-night telephone calls
Teach your kids to never post their cellular telephone number anywhere online
Talk to your kids about the possible implications of sending sexually explicit or provocative images of themselves or others
Think about removing the Internet features from your kid’s cellular telephone/wireless device through your service provider or consider creating settings to control or prohibit access to the Internet, e-mail, or text messaging
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
Webcam sessions and photographs may be easily captured and saved, and users may continue to circulate those images online. In some cases people believed they were interacting with trusted friends but later found their images were distributed to others or posted on websites.
Capturing, sending, and posting sexually provocative and inappropriate images may lead to legal implications and other unexpected offline consequences.
Online gaming involves playing a game over a computer network, often on the Internet, or Internet-enabled game console. Online gaming allows kids to engage with and challenge players from around the world. Many online games have text, chatroom, or IM functions, allowing players to communicate as a group or in private. Some even allow users to speak directly to each other using voice-enabled headphones. In addition online games often have associated online communities for players to share experiences and strategies. In many ways online games and gaming communities serve as a forum for social networking.
Kids should use webcams or post photographs online only with your knowledge and supervision.
Remind your kids to ask themselves if they would be embarrassed if their friends or family members saw the pictures or videos they post online. If the answer is yes, then they need to stop.
Remind kids to be aware of what is in the camera’s field of vision and remember to turn the camera off when it is not in use.
Caution kids about posting identity-revealing or sexually provocative photographs. Don’t allow them to post photographs of others — even their friends — without permission from their friends’ parents or guardians. Remind them once such images are posted they lose control of them and can never get them back.
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
There is never any guarantee your kid is communicating with other kids, those they know in person, or those approved by you Potential Risks
Other Ways to Enhance Kids’ Online Safety Skills
Because we use the Internet in different ways, kids and adults may learn from each other. By talking about Internet use with your kids, you are opening the door to discussing the important issues of personal safety and helping them engage in responsible behavior. Use this brochure as a starting point, or visit www.NetSmartz.org to find
safety resources for both kids and adults.
Software and services are available to help parents and guardians set limits on kids’ Internet use. Most computer-operating systems have optional filters allowing parents and guardians to block websites they consider inappropriate. Some services rate websites Keep the gaming console and computer in a common area of the
home so you are able to more easily supervise
Set rules, including how long your kids may play, who they are allowed to play with, and what types of games are appropriate
Check out rating systems to help you decide which games to allow in your home
Look into what types of protections or parental controls the gaming console allows and make use of them
Tips to Minimize Potential Risks
As with IM or social-networking websites, kids may be exposed to inappropriate language, harassed, threatened, or asked sexually explicit questions
By setting aside time to go online with your kids you not only become more aware of what they do online, you reinforce positive Internet skills. Helping your kids with a research project is a great opportunity for them to learn about and distinguish which websites provide reliable information, are simply someone’s opinion, and are to be
avoided entirely. And when looking at e-mails together ask, “Are these people who they seem to be?” These are prime opportunities to help kids develop their critical-thinking skills.
Work with your kids to develop reasonable rules. Consider setting rules about the time of day, length of time, people they may communicate with, and appropriate areas for them to visit while online. Also explain to your kids why these rules are important.
It’s important to reassure kids if they encounter problems online or view something disturbing, it’s not their fault. Discussing these issues openly may reduce their fear of going to you if they encounter something online making them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
Be a resource. Let them know if they share the experience with you, you will try to help, not punish, them. At the same time help them understand what happened and avoid similar situations in the future. Some programs prevent users from entering information such as names and addresses, and others keep kids away from chatrooms or restrict their ability to send or read e-mail.
Monitoring programs allow you to see where your kids go online. But remember these programs and services don’t develop kids’ own sense of safety, and they are not substitutes for parental/guardian communication,
supervision, and involvement.
The NetSmartz Workshop is an online, educational resource for kids of all ages and their trusted adults to help foster positive choices when on the Internet and in the real world.
The NetSmartz program is designed to be used in homes, schools, and communities. It provides parents, guardians, educators, community leaders, and law-enforcement officials with a wide variety of resources including activities, games, presentations, safety pledges, and videos. These resources help trusted adults build kids’ safety awareness, prevent their victimization, and increase their self-confidence on- and offline.
The NetSmartz Workshop is a leader in safety education for youth, parents and guardians, and educators. The program was created to spearhead a movement toward safer and more responsible use of the Internet by kids and teens. Download the free resources at www.NetSmartz.org.
Created by the Ad Council and NCMEC, “Don’t Believe the Type,” is part of a publicservice campaign specifically designed to help teens recognize the dangers of the Internet, situations to avoid, and how to “surf safer.” Visit www.cybertipline.com, and click on the “Don’t Believe the Type” link to view the website.
A part of NCMEC’s Ad Council public-service campaign, “Think Before You Post” is a public-service campaign warning kids about the dangers of posting inappropriate pictures and videos of themselves online. Visit .cybertipline.com and click on the “Think Before You Post” link to view the website.
Visit www.cybertipline.com or call 1-800-843-5678 to report the sexual exploitation of children on- and offline. The CyberTipline accepts information about the possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child victims of prostitution; sex tourism involving children; extrafamilial child sexual molestation; unsolicited obscene material sent to a child; misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the Internet. Your information will be forwarded to law enforcement and Internet service provider(s) for investigation and review when appropriate.
NetSmartz411 is a free, first-of-its-kind service provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and funded by the Qwest Foundation. It was designed to raise Internet-safety awareness and provides general information about computers and the Web.
Parents, guardians, and educators are able to find this resource at www.NetSmartz411.org. The website contains a searchable knowledgebase of frequently asked questions regarding computers and the Internet, along with the opportunity to ask questions of experts. Questions may be submitted via the website anytime or called into experts at 1-888-NETS411 (638-7411), Monday through Friday, from Noon to 8:00 p.m., EST.
If you have information to help NCMEC in the fight against child sexual exploitation, please report it to the CyberTipline at www.cybertipline.com or 1-800-843-5678.
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