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Protecting Your Kids in the Digital Age

Our kids are growing up in the “digital age” and being online is part of their everyday life. If your kids are not armed with internet safety knowledge they are at risk to the online dangers.

Please click here to watch the video, The Importance of Protecting Kids

Let’s look at some of the statistics from the video.

“90% of middle school kids say their feelings were hurt online” but only 15% told their parents.

Why do you think kids don’t tell their parents?

  1. Parents will overreact
  2. Take away the computer
  3. Too embarrassed

Parents typically overreact and want to take care of the problem. Our kids may just need to vent. We may take a comment that hurts our kid’s feelings and it could be a reaction that will work itself out the next day. We tend to think of every hurtful comment as an attack or cyberbullying. Kids are also afraid parents will react by taking away computers, cell phones, ban them from certain friends, etc. They are afraid parents will make it worse by confronting the bully, or taking it to school.

Parents need to listen, and then ask, “What do you want to do about it?” Listen to their answer; they may just want to talk. It could be more serious. If so, ask “How can I help?” “What can we do?” Let them know you can work it out together.

20% of teens have sent/posted or received nude pictures or videos.

Why are teens “sexting”?

  • peer pressure – boyfriend is pressuring them
  • think it will get a guy to like you
  • think it is “normal
  • everybody does it”
  • read and hear about it in the news
  • nudity isn’t a big deal
  • see nudity in movies and on internet

Unfortunately, it is considered “normal” viewing for most teens. We need to make sure our kids understand that it may be considered normal to some but that doesn’t make it right.

If this is true, and it isn’t a big deal, why are kids now facing criminal charges of distributing child pornography?
Why do people get upset when it is made public and passed around if “it isn’t a big deal”? It is wrong and there are consequences.

1 in 5 online teens have received a sexual solicitation.

When kids are on social network site, they often get approached by people they don’t know. Unfortunately, these people will make inappropriate remarks and requests. They may mention a picture on their profile or ask them to send a “sexy” picture.

Have you told your kids they should expect this to happen? Do your kids know how to handle this? Talk to your kids about this. Let them know that unfortunately, this happens and let them know how to handle it. They should not respond, tell parents so appropriate action can be decided.

Only 1/3 of households are actively protecting their children online. Why?

Reasons parents are not actively protecting their kids online include…

  • don’t know which filtering or monitoring program to use
  • filtering program is too restrictive and/or too hard to use
  • parents lack of understanding online risks
  • parents are uncomfortable with technology
  • kids are more computer savvy than their parents
  • expect kids to know how to handle the risks
  • my kids are too young to search for inappropriate material

Parenting responsibilities have changed and in order for us to keep our families safe online, we need to become educated on internet safety.

Become a Cyber Safe Parent and stay up to date on the latest technology and trends that affect our kids.

Are you looking for a Filtering and Monitoring Program? Norton Online Family is a free filtering and monitoring program you can download onto your computer.

If you are looking for a great Internet Safety Program for you or your kids, click on the link below to find out more information on the program my family used.

I-Net Safety Parent or I-Net Safety Student

Internet Safety

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1 comment to Protecting Your Kids in the Digital Age

  • Thank you for mentioning sexting. It is terrible what boys and girls are pressured into doing. The digital age can be so great but can be so ugly!