Digital Citizenship and the Importance of Kids Online Safety: What Parents need to know
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What in the world is digital citizenship?
I had never thought much about it until I was asked to write this post. Whether we like it or not, the internet and everything that comes along with it is here to stay, including digital citizenship. My parents and their parents before them didn’t have to worry about “digital Citizenship” or wonder what their kids were doing online like the parents of today and the future will have to.
Digital Citizenship is defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use. It means we all have a responsibility to be appropriate and responsible when we are online. As an adult, you already know (or should) what it means to be responsible and appropriate for the most part but have you ever thought about the internet through your child’s eyes? It is a colorful playground with sounds and sights and many times, unfortunately, full of people who are not good digital citizens.
Children as young as 2 can operate tablets and 6-yr-olds have cell phones and Facebook pages in the world we are raising. As a parent it is your job to teach your child to be a good digital citizen and also to protect them from those who are not. A day does not go by that I don’t hear something on the news about hackers, online predators, cyber-bullying and other web safety issues; it is more important now than ever to remind your kids to stay safe online. I have 2 little girls so this issue is very near and dear to my heart as they are starting to ask for their own phone and are learning more and more about their ipads.
Thankfully there are several resources out there available to you as parents to help you understand online safety and how to talk to your child about it. A great resource is the Parents’ Survival Guide To Online Safety. I found it very informative as it covers many topics that you will want to know!
This comprehensive guide covers topics such as:
UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S TEENS
DO’S AND DON’TS ON ONLINE SAFETY
HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD/TEEN
HOW-TO’S FOR PARENTS
If you want to make sure your child fully understands why rules regarding internet use must be followed and how specifically online predators can compromise one’s safety then this is the guide for you!
Aside from the internet, cell phones are great and in many families on the go, a must have but pose another set of issues for parents to be aware of. Did you know that text messaging and phone calls can cause distraction in areas of your child’s life as well as sleep deprivation? Did you know that online predators and bullying can also take place over cell phones just through text? How to Monitor & Spy on Text Messages of your Child is another guide that is packed with info that you need to know about when it comes to cell phones and text messaging in our world today. It explains a step-by-step process as to the importance of not necessarily spying on our kids but having honest conversations with them about what they are doing on their cell phones and what we will do as parents to protect them.
Both guides above are written and provided by KidGuard, a technology services company that provides information & tools for parents to keep their kids safe online. If you are interested in “spying” on your kids text messages, monitoring their gps locations, tracking phone logs, chats, and staying on top of issues such as cyber-bullying, online predators, teen depression, and other risks to your children arising from the internet, check out The KidGuard Phone Monitoring service.