Tech-Savvy Daddy: Online Safety for Kids and Teens
Facebook, when used appropriately, can be a great way for your teens to connect with friends and family, share photos, and even get homework help!
But of course, there are also some inherent dangers when teens go online and interact with others virtually, so being aware of and prepared for those risks will go a long way toward keeping teens safe on Facebook, and the internet in general.
What are some things my teen should know in order to use Facebook safely?*
*Excerpted from Facebook Safety For Parents
- Teens should never share their password with anyone (except parents) – and remember to log-out when they access their account on someone else’s computer.
- Both teens and parents need to understand how to use privacy settings. If you are not familiar with how Facebook ensures user privacy, read the Facebook Privacy settings and fundamentals page.
- Report people that violate Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Block anyone who might be sending unwanted content.
- If it looks suspicious, it probably is.
How do I help my kids use the internet wisely?
- Pay attention to what your kids are doing online, and consider investing in software for internet safety. Check out http://www.internetsafety.com for some resources to protect your family from harmful content and help you monitor internet activity.
- Impart your values on all areas of life to your teens, and remind them that those values extend to the online world.
- Encourage balance in how your teen spends their time. Investing in others personally is valuable, and can go much farther than spending all of their waking hours “connecting” online.
- Don’t be afraid of technology. Just because it may not be your favorite thing, it should be important to you so you can have smart and open conversations with your kids.
- Hold your teens accountable for what they do online and how they spend their time. Using technology is a privilege, not a “right.” Privileges are earned and can be taken away if not used well. If they handle online privileges responsibly, you can count on them to be more responsible in other areas of their life, too.
Check out “A Parent’s Guide to Facebook” for more information on understanding the in’s and out’s of Facebook.
For more tips on how to keep your kids safe online, check one of our past articles, "Caught in the Web: Keeping Your Kids Safe Online." You can read articles on lots of topics at our page for fathers: http://www.fatherhood.org/fathers.