There are too many children, who communicate via the Internet these days. And though most social networks do not permit the under 13 to view their content, there is no real possibility to restrict the access for kids.
Social networks number hundreds of million users. There has never been such an opportunity for children to reach so many people in a short period of time despite of distance and borders. At the same time, there have never been a better opportunity for online predators and cyberbullies to track children, attack them, and stay anonymous.
It is up to you whether to let your kids use social networks or not. Anyway, you should know some online safety guidelines for parents to be prepared:
Having no account on social media, where your children spend most of their time while online, you lose a chance to share a big part of their world and a common sphere of interest. On the other hand, you are missing out an ability to check the content your kids post, read, and share. Moreover, if in the first case, you simply lose a matter to talk about, give an advice, and help; the second one means that you let your children be exposed to danger without even knowing what actually happens.
If you are more tech-savvy than your kids, help them adjust online privacy settings appropriately. Do not leave privacy setting in default mode, since in this case your children will be able to share too much information with the public. Set private mode and make sure that only approved friends can see what your kids post, like, and share.
You should clearly specify that the access to social media and the Internet as a whole is a privilege for your children, not a matter of course. Thus, you should set your own rules by following which your kids will get this privilege. If you want to monitor what they do online, let them know that you will follow their posts, comments, and new friends added.
By setting private mode to prevent you kids from communicating with strangers and misgiving people, you will be able to see their content only in case you are official friends on a particular network. If not, all post, likes, shares, as well as new contacts will be hidden from you. That’s why befriending your kids is a pre-requisite for them to use social media.
Being a parent you should always keep the conversation between you and your kids open. They should clearly realize your concerns, trust you, and know they can rely on you for any reason. Explain your children why online reality may be dangerous, as well as why your interference may be needed sometimes. Your kids should understand that you do not try to restrict their freedom, but protect them and secure their happiness.
Eventually you will have to let your children live their own lives and make their own mistakes. The earlier you will do this, the more experienced your kids will be. However, it does not mean at all that you should stop taking care of your children and back them up. Good parental control software will help in this case. It will let you monitor online activity and cell phone use without direct physical access. Thus, you will grant your children freedom of communication and at the same time will have a capability of preventing them from danger they may face.
Keep your eyes open, since kids’ protection is your top priority.
“Three months ago I started using Pumpic because wanted to track my daughter’s transfers to and from school by GPS and generally to check her texts and calls. What I found out was something unexpected. Daughter appeared to bully the other girl through the messages on a social site, mocking and saying offensive things to her. Of course, I had a serious talk with my daughter and made her apologize to the girl. Hope she learned the lesson.”
“Recently my daughter started dating a guy; he is her first boyfriend. Though they haven’t had one-to-one dates yet and see each other in a company of friends or our house, they also spend much time texting each other or talking through the social sites. Of course, as a father, I want to be sure that this boy is treating my daughter nicely. To control it I installed Pumpic and warned them both about it. I believe this fact alone sets boundaries for both of them.”
“I’m so happy for founding Pumpic! The best feature, as for me, is remote social media monitoring. Keeping track of my son’s online life has helped me to learn more about his hobbies, interests, and friends. I cannot say that all information was pleasant to know, but at least I am sure that he doesn’t do drugs or something like that. Pumpic is incredible, thank you!”
Pumpic is a unique parental control tracking application for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets. It is for ethical and legal use only. To install the tracking app, one should assure that he or she owns the device before installation, or has obtained the owner’s permission to track his or her device.