Did your children get a smart phone or new tablet for the holidays?
Here are some tips to help keep them safe:
Mobile Apps: The best way to keep up with kids' apps is to try them out yourself, and talk to your kids about your rules for buying and using apps. Before you or your kids download an app:
- look at screenshots in the app marketplace
- read the description, content rating, and user reviews
- do some research on the developer, including outside reviews from sources you respect
- check what information the app collects, and if there are in-app purchases.
Texting Safely: Many kids with cell phones use them to send and receive text messages and images. Remind your kids to:
- ignore texts from people they don't know
- avoid posting their cell phone number online
- delete any message that asks for personal or financial information - even if it promises a free gift
- do not send sexting messages,in addition to risking their reputation, they could break the law if they create, forward, or even save this kind of message.
Location-based Services:Many mobile phones have GPS technology installed. Kids with these phones can pinpoint where their friends are - and be pinpointed by their friends. Tell kids to limit these features so they're not broadcasting their location to the world. Explain that there can be downsides to letting anyone and everyone know where they are.
Talk to Your Kids: The best way to protect your kidsonline and on-the-go? Talk to them. While kids value the opinions of their peers, most tend to rely on their parents for help on the issues that matter most. Communicate your expectations, and be clear about what's off-limits. Be patient and supportive if you learn they've done something online you don't approve of, and work together to make sure it doesn't happen again.