Keep the Computer in a Central Location
It’s a lot easier to keep on eye on your kids online activity when the computer is located in a high-traffic zone than if they are using a computer in their room. Place the computer in a central location like your kitchen or family room so that everything is in the open.
No Underage Facebooking
Did you know that no one under the age of 13 is permitted to join Facebook? There is really no way for Facebook to truly verify and enforce this. You need to be sure that your children stay away from Facebook until 13 and you are comfortable with them having their own page.
Monitor the Pictures Your Child Posts Online
ideally, your child would not post a photo of their self online, but that may not be realistic. If your kids want to share photos with friends via email or a social media site, be sure you know exactly which photos are being posted. Be sure the content of the photo is appropriate and that no identifiable locations in the background are visible.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released findings from a comprehensive study on how social media can impact kids and families. There are definite benefits to kids using Social Media sites, including increased communication, access to information, and developing a sense of self, there can be some downsides to all this online sharing too. These tips apply to the use of cell phones, tablets, and computers.
Talk to Kids about Online Dangers
You may feel like you’re scaring your kids when talking to them about the dangers of being online, but it’s better for them to be informed than be unaware. Experts warn that everyone is a stranger online! You need to remind kids that the standard rules about strangers always apply.
Create Ground Rules
If your kids are old enough to use the computer on their own, they are old enough to understand there are rules they need to abide by. Breaking these rules should not have a lesser consequence than if they broke a rule in the real world.
Check Privacy Settings
Check that privacy settings for the Internet and Facebook are set to the strictest levels. Depending on which browser you are using, you can adjust the settings directly from the options tab and in cookies. This not only protects the computer user, but also the computer from the threat of viruses.