Internet Safety Resources
Below are links that include relevant information about your child's safety on the internet and on cell phones. If your kids are online or on cell phones, the information below is beneficial for you.
These websites offer tips to parents for talking with your children about phone and computer safety.
Suggestions for Parents:
- If your kids have a cell phone, ask your internet and cell provider about the options they have for parental monitoring and control. Most providers have quite a few different levels of monitoring and control that you can use. Many parental control options are not very expensive (some are as low as $5) and can added on your regular service package on a monthly basis.. Some options allow you to turn off certain phones at certain times of the evening, monitor texts, app usage, etc.
- Keep your computer in a central location so that you can keep an eye on what your kids are doing.
- Be familiar with the most recent apps that kids and teens are using. Do a periodic search on www.google.com or www.yahoo.com with terms like “dangerous apps for kids and teens”. This will bring up multiple articles with various takes on recent apps that tweens and teens are using. Read more than one article as some do not list all of the dangerous apps. Some of the websites listed above, especially www.commonsensemedia.org have detailed descriptions and reports about some of these apps., so they are a great place to start your search.
- Talk regularly with your kids about the possible dangers of various apps. The two websites listed above have helpful suggestions about how to start those conversations.
- Check your kid’s privacy settings on your phone and computer (check theirs as well if applicable). Even in safe apps and websites, location settings that are turned on may make them more vulnerable to being found by strangers. Sometimes privacy settings can be controlled on the settings page of the phone/computer, but sometimes they also need to be set on each app or program.
- Talk to your kids about the liabilities associated with defaming others online. Not only is talking about others mean, but some kids have faced serious consequences with schools and law enforcement for bullying and/or defaming kids online.
- Many websites and apps such as Facebook have minimum age requirements for kids. This is done for a reason. Many of these sites contain inappropriate content for kids. Do your research before you let your kids sign up.
- Know who your kids are talking to and talk about the importance of not talking with strangers on apps or online. Educate your kids and warn them that people are not always who they say that they are. It is easy for strangers to pretend to be someone else online.
- Set limits for screen time. Research shows that too much screen time can be detrimental for brain development, especially in younger kids. Too much screen time can also be detrimental for kids social development.
Parental Control Software:
The following are articles about software that is available to help you keep an eye on your child’s computer usage. These lists should get you started, but once you decide you like a few of the programs then you may want to research reviews on those programs before your final purchase. Please know that Longley Way is not endorsing these products. Our desire is to show you some of the software options that are available so that you have a good start on your research.
Ways that Students Can Hide Apps:
There are many ways for students to hide apps so that parents don’t know that they are using certain apps. I found the following sides just by Googling “hiding apps”. Again, this is not a definitive list, but a great way to get started on your research.
Other Helpful Articles:
For Older Teenagers:
An interesting article for parents with teens who drive:
This book is a great read for teaching kids social behavior and responsibility related to social media and screen time.
Growing Up Social by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane
Parental Controls for Phones