Technology, Internet and Online Safety Tips for Today’s Family from the Author of the Bestselling The Modern Parent’s Guide Series (www.ParentsGuideBooks.com)
NEW YORK, NY (March 29, 2012)– From smartphones to social networks, technology has permanently invaded kids’ lives, says Scott Steinberg, creator of the bestselling The Modern Parent’s Guide high-tech parenting books (free to download on Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle and at http://www.ParentsGuideBooks.com). But with children aged 2-5 better equipped to run apps than tie their shoelaces, and over 80% of two year-olds suddenly boasting an online presence, parents and educators must be prepared to teach them essential digital citizenship and online safety tips.
To help tame the high-tech beast, Steinberg advises that digital parents employ the following online safety and privacy tips:
Online Safety Tips for Kids and Parents
- <*>Homework is for parents too: Always study, research and go-hands on with new technologies to make more informed decisions.*> <*>If time’s tight, get a crash course on new offerings, trends and features by visiting popular product review sites or searching for online tutorials, e.g.“How to Turn Off iPhone Purchases.”*> <*>Besides employing kid-friendly software, apps and web filters, educate children on online dangers and encourage them to speak up when questionable content or situations are encountered.*> <*>Use the parental controls built into popular entertainment devices, video game consoles and operating systems, and password-protect your settings– but don’t employ easily guessable choices like birthdays and anniversaries.*> <*>Activate privacy features built into popular social networks to limit strangers’ access to personal status updates, photos and videos.*> <*>Confine screens to common household areas such as playrooms and dens, so usage and play habits can be monitored.*> <*>Establish predetermined times when usage of high-tech devices is permitted or banned (e.g. during dinner), and always shut screens off at least one hour before bedtime.*> <*>Create and enforce house rules: Experts recommend no more than 60-120 minutes of screen time daily, balanced with other low-tech activities. Some families add or subtract time as a reward or punishment for children’s behavior.*> <*>If you’re worried about children’s online interactions, use programs’ and devices’ built-in features to turn off Internet connectivity, disenable digital purchases and restrict interactions to pre-approved friend lists.*> <*>Talk about safe online spending, and if you allow kids to make purchases, consider restricting these abilities to prepaid cards.*>
- <*>Never share personal information on the Internet, including addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, ages, locations and hometowns.*> <*>Always avoid mentioning when you’ll be away from home… especially when on vacation.*> <*>Be skeptical of strangers you meet online: What they say, do and post on their profile may not reflect the real-life truth.*> <*>Think twice before posting potentially offensive, embarrassing or controversial content, as it may come back to haunt you– doubly so in the eyes of college recruiters or prospective employers.*> <*>Remain wary when meeting strangers in real-life (and do so only in public places), tell others where you’ll be before leaving, and always bring along a friend or responsible adult when doing so.*>
About the Author
High-tech parenting expert Scott Steinberg is the CEO of business consulting firm TechSavvy Global, Sears Toy Shop’s tech toy expert and one of today’s most sought-after industry analysts, keynote speakers and expert witnesses. Hailed as a top tech and video game expert by dozens of publications from USA Today to NPR, he’s covered business, entertainment and consumer trends for 400+ outlets from Parents to Rolling Stone. A frequent on-air analyst for TV networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and CNN, he also hosts popular video shows Family Tech and Game Theory.
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