The internet offers a lot of great educational and networking opportunities, for both children and adults. But there are some lessons your child shouldn’t have to learn from experience. Host Mike Farris and his guest discuss online safety, on today’s Home School Heartbeat.
Mitch, on our last program, you gave us an introduction to some of the online social networking sites. What most parents really want to know is, how can they keep their kids safe? Can you give parents some general guidelines?
Sure, Mike. If your kids have accounts on these services, you need to have accounts also. You might even consider having the password to their account. Accounts should be private, not public, which means that they must invite friends or accept friend requests to share information. Search for your kids online with these services and see what others can see about them. Talk about privacy with your kids, stressing never entering private information and don’t “friend” people they don’t know.
And you’ve got to have a filter in your computer. Some are offered at a discount through HSLDA. The most involved method would be to record everything that happens on your computer with software like Specter. But remember, most of these tools can be accessed by mobile phone as well as your computer, so the best protection is talking, regularly, with your kids about what they’re doing online.
Mitch, if your child has a Facebook account and you friend them, will you see everything that they’re doing?
No, Mike. They do have a private message inbox where they can exchange messages with their friends, and so that’s a reason it would be a good idea to have their password.
Mitch, that’s really helpful. Thanks so much for joining me. I’m Mike Farris.