30 Blogs to Help Parents Keep Kids Safe Online

Be an educated parent, you will have safer kids.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer kids.

Should you allow your child to watch the news or go on Facebook?  At what point is it okay and healthy for your child to learn about current events?  Could the media your kids watch be the cause of mass violence?  When it comes to kids’ exposure to the media, these questions are all ones that need to be considered.

In the following 30 blog entries, the bloggers go into some depth about studies and recommendations regarding the relationship between your kids and media exposure, and explore the possible pros and cons of your kids’ involvement with media.

Studies

Scientists play an active role in helping parents learn about how media affects kid’s health.  If you are looking for answers of your own, review these five blog posts to see what their studies revealed.

Use

How are kids using media these days?  You might be surprised when you read a bit more about it.  These five blog entries will shed some light on media use in kids.

Recommendations

What can parents do about how much time their kids spend using media?  How much time is appropriate?  These answers and more can be found on the following five blog posts.

Pros

Here are five blog articles that have noted some benefits of kids using social media and blogging.  If you have concerns, you might want to read through the benefits that have been laid out by these bloggers.

Cons

These five blog posts provide some details about why social media may be bad for kids, and outline some of the reasons that their usage is considered risky behavior. Once you’ve read these you can weigh the good with the bad and make your own decisions about media use.

Violence

Social media, news stories and violent video games have all been tied to violent acts by kids.  See what is being said about these events in these five blog entries.  The more information you have the better choices about media use you can make.

Sources: National Nannies

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Sexual Predators: 10 Ways Predators Seek Kids Online

Teens are just as vulnerable as young children.

Teens are just as vulnerable as young children.

With many parents online shopping it also means more adults with not the same motives will be online also.  Do your kids practice online safety measures?

Children today are growing up with the Internet as a regular part of life, yet the World-Wide-Web was fairly new when their parents were young. Along with all the fun and informative things available to children online, a serious danger also lurks. Internet predators like to use the anonymity of the Internet, and are constantly on the lookout for innocent victims.

It’s important for parents to be aware of the ways sexual predators troll for kids online.

Here are 10 things to watch out for to keep your kids safe on the Internet.

  1. Online games – One place Internet predators connect with kids is online games. They will choose games that are popular with the age group they prefer and pose as other kids to foster a friendship with children. Predators will watch for gamer names that indicate the gender, location or other information that is useful to them.
  2. Chat rooms – Sexual predators will pose as kids in chat rooms that are popular with children. This is an easy way for them to garner information and target unsuspecting youngsters. Once they gain a child’s trust, they may try setting up a meeting in person.
  3. Facebook – Parents need to be very careful about whether or not they allow their children to have their own personal Facebook accounts. This is prime hunting grounds for Internet stalkers who target kids. It’s very easy for them to set up fake Facebook pages and “friend” teens and preteens.
  4. Twitter – Social media is a great way for pedophiles to connect with their victims, and Twitter is no exception. Many young people use tweeting as their primary form of communication, and predators know this and go where the kids are.
  5. Websites for kids – Parents may think websites like Disney and PBS Kids are safe for their children to frequent, but predators like to frequent them too. What better place is there to find lonely kids who want to chat?
  6. Instant messaging – Since emails will linger in an account until they’re deleted, Internet predators prefer to use instant messaging that disappears once the window is closed. This makes it harder for parents to monitor who’s talking to their kids and what they’re saying.
  7. MySpace – Some consider MySpace one of the worst sites for online predators who want to connect with children. The online surveys are fun to fill out, but they also provide lots of information that can be used to gain trust with unsuspecting youngsters.
  8. Pictures – Parents need to educate their children on how pictures posted online can be used by sexual predators. It helps them to identify kids who fit their personal preferences, and any picture posted online can be used and manipulated by anyone. Child pornographers are constantly monitoring the Internet for potentially suggestive photos of children.
  9. Target the vulnerable – Internet predators are constantly on the lookout for vulnerable children that they can exploit. Kids that are lonely, unhappy, who are having difficulty with school, or who have poor relationships with their parents are easy targets. They also like kids who are willing to keep secrets from their parents or other authorities.
  10. Use coded language – The shortcut language that kids use for texting makes it harder for parents to readily understand what they’re saying. Just glancing over their child’s shoulder, a text message can look like gobbledygook, so parents need to learn this coded language to help keep their kids safe. You better believe the Internet predators know exactly what texting shortcuts mean and how to use it to gain a child’s trust.

Being aware of the inherit risks that the Internet poses to innocent children is the first step parents who want to keep their children safe need to take. Parents need to educate themselves and their children about the dangers of Internet predators as they teach them how to use the Web.

Establish rules and guidelines for computer and cell phone use, and keep the computer in a common area easily observable by parents and siblings. Use online tools for privacy settings and set up parental alerts. Parental involvement is the key to protecting your children from online sexual predators.

Source: Nanny News Network

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The Negative Side of Facebook and Your Teen

Special guest post by Roxanne Porter:

I know that a lot of people love Facebook. They love that it can help them to stay connected to their friends. They love that it makes it easy to share their thoughts, feelings, and pictures. But Facebook has a dark side. It can be very damaging to people. Facebook can cause privacy issues, make you lose your job and your friends, and can be used as a tool for bad guys.

Some of the problems that come with Facebook arise because of privacy issues. Even though you can choose to have your profile set to private that does not always mean that your information is really safe. A lot of times friends of friends can see your posts. That can mean people you have never met and do not know. Also, people can share your posts with others, taking away your privacy. On top of that, businesses can pay to have access to all of Facebook, supposedly for marketing purposes, but they can use the information any way they wish.

Facebook is also bad because it can make you lose your friends or your job. Just because you think your Facebook is set to private does not mean that somehow something might escape to the public or people not on your friend list. Your employer could find out that you are posting during business hours or that you called in sick but went to the beach. Those things could get you in a lot of trouble or even fired. The same idea goes with your friends. If you tell someone you are going to bed or home and then you post pictures at a party, they are going t be upset with you for lying to them.

Facebook can also be used as a tool for bad guys who want to steal your information. There are lots of people out there who steal identities. They might use Facebook to get your name, numbers, friends’ names and even your address. Worse than identity theft, though, is real theft or physical harm. If someone has access to your Facebook and wanted to find you, it would be pretty easy. They could track you down based on where you work or even where you eat regularly. If you tag your posts with your location, you make it even easier for a stalker to find you. There was even a case of a burglar breaking into a house because someone posted a picture of a pile of money on their Facebook page. That is pretty dumb, but you can see how easy that would be to do.

Facebook is supposed to be something great, but it can also be very bad. There are a lot of people out there that want to use your information to do the wrong thing. Facebook makes it much easier for them. It might be better not to post anything important or really identifying on your Facebook page. Or you could just not have one at all!

Author Bio:

Roxanne Porter is a freelancer & a regular contributor for  nannyjobs.org.  She helps in providing knowledge about nanny services & love writing on nanny related articles. She helps in giving a fair knowledge about nanny Jobs to the community. You can be in touch with her at “r.poter08ATgmail.com” .

Facebook and Kids: Parents You do have Options for Social Networking Sites for Kids

Is Facebook really for kids?

What kids do online have real world consequences – do they realize that?

The answer is probably not surprising to many parents.  Most kids and teenagers do not think of the consequences when they post what  they believe are silly comments or funny photos today.

Everyday a parent somewhere is faced with a question from their child – “Can I join Facebook?”

Facebook was originally created for college students in 2004. Ever since then the once small private website has grown to over 800 million uses. Not only is it for college students, but for parents, companies and children. According to Pcworld.com, 7.5 million Facebook users are under 13, and two-thirds of those kids are under 10.  It’s becoming a huge debate among children and parent; to join Facebook or not to join is the question. [See options for younger kids at the end of the article].

The current legal Facebook user age is 13 years old. Any child younger is discouraged to log on, but of course there are plenty ways around that. It is really simple for a child under the age of 13 to get on to Facebook. All you need is a name, email address and a fake birth date.

Before you let your kid log on there are a few things to consider before allowing your child on Facebook:

Facebook is relatively safe. You have many options on the level of privacy and protection you want to set on your page. But keep in mind that your child is always susceptible to online predators if they are online. Whether it is Facebook or online gaming, predators are lurking everywhere. The ‘checking in’ feature can be dangerous in the sense anyone can know where your child is once he or she check in, whether that is at school or at a movie theatre.

Not only is it dangerous it can be a huge distraction. According to heathland.time.com, “Research has found that students in middle school, high school and college who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period got lower grades.” Facebook is just one more distraction for your child.

There are over millions of Facebook users and just like surfing the web there are things you may not want your child to see. You may be in some control of what people can see your child do, but you can’t control what your child may see or read from another user.

Probably the most news making problem with kids on Facebook is the amount of cyberbullying that is occurring. There are dozens of news stories, books, news articles and movies based on this growing epidemic. Cyberbullies are other kids that harass and bully children using technology like Facebook, Twitter, texting and blogs. Cyberbullies are able to hide behind their computer without thinking about the consequences their rumors, teasing and mean words are doing. Cyberbullying is serious; studies show that 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once. (For more statistics information visit http://www.isafe.org/.)

When Facebook is used appropriately it can be a great way for your child to keep in contact with friends and family members. If you choose to allow them to log on, it’s suggested to closely monitor your child’s Facebook by logging on for them, keeping the password safe until you feel they are able to handle it.  Monitoring their page and having access to their page will help with possible dangers. Remember to set your child’s page to private and be sure that comments and photos are on the settings you want.

Source:  Internet Service Providers

Meet Yoursphere for YOUR kids today!

Now when you are faced with that question, “Can I join Facebook?” from your child – you can offer a safe, fun and exciting option!

Yourpshere.com is one of the fasting growing social networking sites for kids.  The benefits are endless, their priorities are the safety of your child and their information.  The founder, Mary Kay Hoal, a mother of five children, created Yoursphere.com as well as Yoursphere for Parents which is full of educational materials and information to keep you up-to-date on today’s gadgets and how to keep up with the ever changing privacy settings of the Internet.

Watch this video on the  as an introduction to Yoursphere!

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NO BULL Challenge Campaign: Get Your School Involved

Bullying and cyberbullying has become a cancer that potentially has a death sentence.

Florida is not a stranger to tragedies related to bullying incidents and suicides among tweens and teens.

The NO BULL Challenge is the largest, youth-led national campaign in America’s history to combat cyberbullying.

Murray Middle School in St. Augustine is home to Girls CircleGirls Circle is a support group for middle school girls. It is designed to foster self-esteem, help girls maintain authentic connections with peers and adult women, counter trends toward self-doubt, and allow for genuine self-expression through verbal sharing and creative activity.

Girls Circle are diligently preparing to be part of the NO BULL Challenge.  This campaign is open to all middle and high school students. (Watch the video ).

Fifteen finalists will be invited to attend the star-studded NO BULL Teen Video Awards in San Francisco.  Our community is behind our students and just making the effort to show your support to put an end to bullying and cyberbullying is a step in a positive direction.

Do you want to know how you can enter?  Click here for FAQ.

Important dates to know for this challenge:
January 15, 2012: NO BULL Challenge Begins (12:01 am PST)

March 15, 2012: Video Upload Deadline (12:00 am PST)

March 15, 2012: Voting begins

April 15, 2012: Voting ends to select top 100 most popular videos

May 17, 2012: 15 finalists chosen from top 100 favorites

July 21, 2012: 8 Winners announced at NO BULL Red Carpet Awards Event in San Francisco

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Teaching Your Teen Respect Both Online and Off: Being a Good Cyber-Citizen

How do you treat others – online?

How do your teens treat their friends – online?

Teaching our kids and teens respect starts from a young age, however when it comes to technology, parents need to understand it is just as important to continue the lesson of respect digitally.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! In honor of this year’s theme, “Our Shared Responsibility,” JustAskGemalto.com compiled a list of 10 ways to be a better cyber citizen and help keep you and your family secure online.

1.       Understand the technology available to protect you and your family’s digital identity: Digital security devices give you the freedom to communicate, travel, shop, bank and work using your digital identity in a way that is convenient, enjoyable and secure.  What digital security tools are you already using every day?

Consider using a personal security device when going online: Having a personal security devicein addition to a password better secures you and your sensitive information.  Learn more about how this concept is a lot like your ATM card.

3.       Use antivirus and antispyware software: To prevent spyware or malware, use one or two anti-spyware programs in addition to your anti-virus software, and keep them up to date.

4.       Teach family & friends about the importance of strong passwords: Passwords should never be family names or numbers that are easily found out like a birthday, address or phone numbers. Do you follow the criteria for strong passwords?

5.       Get involved in your child’s online life: Start young and introduce them to kid-friendly sites you and they can find valuable.  Be sure to take the time to discuss the risks associated with social media with your children.

6.       Report cybercrime:If you are being phished, spammed, or a criminal is attempting to commit a crime through email correspondence with you,it’s important to know the steps you need to take if you think you may be a victim of cybercrime.

7.       Protect your home or small business Wi-Fi network: To make your home or small business Wi-Fi network safe, the single most important thing to do is implement the authentication security capabilities built into your Access Point and Wi-Fi adapters.  Learn how you can easily implement these security capabilities.

8.       If you’re a parent, consider parental control systems for Internet access on 3G mobile phones: All service providers offer parental control software. The systems are free, easy to install, and give you a choice between several levels of control.

9.       If your bank does not provide a smart bankcard, know the other safe ways to shop online: PayPal is a good way to pay online because you do not have to give private credit card account information to an Internet retailer that is unknown to you.  Learn more about other safe payment options.

10.   Don’t share information with web sites you don’t trust: If you’re not sure if you can trust a website, look to see if it is certified by an Internet Trust Organization.

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10 Quick Tips to Protect Your Kids On Facebook

Keeping your kids safe online.

Facebook turned 7 years old this month.  Hard to believe that a college student and his buddies invented it and now it has spread so quickly that more than 40% of the U.S. population has a Facebook account.  Talk about going viral.

While this social network phenomenon started out as a tool for college kids, it has rapidly grown to include a younger and younger audience.  Facebook rules state that a user must be 13 years or older to have a Facebook account.  However, there is no way to verify this so there are many kids that are younger than that with their own accounts.

How do you protect your kids from the questionable material on Facebook?

  1. Don’t let them get an account. Now, this may sound obvious, but it’s the truth.  The best way to protect your kids is to make sure they don’t have an account before they are old enough.
  2. Make sure your child friends you. You need to watch what your child is posting on their friends’ walls and what kind of stuff is being posted on their wall.
  3. Make sure your child only friends people they know in real life. Anyone can send you a friend request if you are a friend of a friend etc.  This can be an open invitation for predators.
  4. Discuss boundaries with your child. Your child needs to know that he/she should not post any personal information online.  No reference to their full name, name of their school, their address or their birthday.
  5. Limit your child’s access to the computer. Computers are a way of life, but as a parent you want to be able to monitor what your child is doing on the computer.  Make sure the computer is in a central location like the living room or office.
  6. Invest in parental control software that monitors your child’s computer activity. You can’t always be with your child.  If you have software like that specializes in monitoring your child’s keystrokes, you can see exactly what your child is doing on the computer and on Facebook accounts even if you aren’t home.
  7. Do not allow your kids to post pictures. Pictures lead to online bullying and sometimes too much information.  What if your child posts a picture from his soccer game?  Seems innocent enough, but this gives out personal information that may put children at risk from a predator.
  8. Allow your child to use your Facebook account. This may sound funny, but if they aren’t posting under their own name they may be more conscientious.  Plus, you will indeed have access to see everything they have posted.
  9. Make sure you have their passwords. There is no such thing as privacy in your house.  You should have their e-mail password as well as their Facebook password.
  10. Make sure you set the privacy settings on Facebook. Facebook will show your phone number and other personal information if you don’t turn it off.  Make sure you are there to help your child set up their account.

Read more.