The fact - 92% of teens go online daily, and 24% of those teens are online "almost constantly". As technology advances, kids are becoming more tech savvy. While the internet appears fun to watch YouTube videos, play games, and socialize with others on apps - it's important to educate about the online dangers. This includes viewing harmful content and talking to strangers. It's accessible on PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, portable gaming devices, PlayStations, DVD/Blu-ray players, and Smart TVs.
As your family enjoys summer, we recommend reviewing your internet profiles and other applications, such as mainstream social media apps to assure your children understand the privacy settings* and what is allowed and not allowed while online on any device.
- Start the conversation early. Explain why they should never reveal their real name, where they live or attend school. Kids should understand the permanence of what they post online, like a picture, video, or comment that will likely live forever.
- Set expectations of online behavior with a family internet use policy that includes the consequences of misuse.
- Keep a computer in a central location of the house.
- Have a watchful eye on your child's online footprint - monitor kids' social media interactions while respecting their privacy.
- Never share a password with anyone except with parents.
- Always sign out of an account when finished.
- Stay on familiar sites and apps created for children under 13. If you choose to let your kids use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest - be involved. Get connected as their "friend" to monitor their activity.
- Ignore pop-ups and contests that link to unsafe sites.
- Encourage kids and teens to inform a trusted adult if they feel uncomfortable about something they saw or heard.
- Invest in a parental-control app for your kids' smartphones and tablets - like Norton Family Premier, Qustodio, PhoneSheriff and others.
Repetition is key so keep the conversation going now through the new school year. Read more about how you can further protect your family online, TV, and phone by visiting www.armstrongarmor.com.
*Privacy settings for the top social media sites are listed for your convenience: Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram/Pinterest