Having a teenager at home, I am always concerned about his safety when he is online. We've had lots of conversations about online privacy and not sharing personal information on social networks. We've also put parental controls on handheld devices like his tablet and computer. And we've implemented rules about his cell phone. (One of the biggest rules we have is that he must share his passwords with us.) But since technology is always changing and new sites are popping up, it's difficult as parents to keep up with all the changes. Let's face it. Our teens are probably smarter than we are in this area.
Not only that, but there's also the hot topic of cyber bullying. When we were kids, it was unheard of for people to instantly share photos, video and messages. It's so important to teach our kids that cyber bullying will not be tolerated and that they need to communicate with an adult if they fall victim to it. Open communication with teens is sometimes difficult, but we need to constantly keep the conversation going, even if it seems they aren't listening.
BGCA in partnership with Sprint is helping parents talk to their teens about Cyber Safety with the Cyber Tribe, a group of teen experts who can questions about mobile device safety, texting, online privacy, personal data sharing, and cyberbullying.
Each week in June, you can check back to the site for updates. When submitting a question, you are also entered to win an iPad mini and $500 to the Boys & Girls Club of your choice!
To submit your questions to the CyberTribe:
- Visit the BGCA CyberSafe site
- Visit the "Ask the CyberTribe" tab
- Click “Ask now”
- Write in your question, fill out your information (First Name, Last initial, City, and State)
- Click “Submit”
- After hitting submit you will be given the change to enter the CyberSafe Futures Giveaway.
There are also some great resources for moms and dads to come up with their own Cyber Safety rules and printable discussion cards to open up conversations with their not only teens, but also younger children.
My personal favorite is the Cyber Safe Glossary; you can find terms surrounding the latest digital technology and trends. It's especially helpful for parents who aren't familiar with such things as chat acronyms and online gaming terms.
Are you a Cyber Smart parent? You can take the Cyber Smart Parent Quiz to see how Cyber Smart you really are.
I hope you'll check out all these important resources and have a conversation with your kids today about Cyber Safety.
Join the conversation:
Follow @BGCA_Clubs on Twitter #CyberSafe #CyberTribe
BGCA Clubs on Facebook
What do you do to keep your kids safe online? What rules do you have at home for online devices?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!