Resources for Tweens and Teens
Fanlala's Top 5 Online Safety Tips
Here are Fanlala's top 5 Online Safety Tips for parents to talk about with their kids!
- What goes online, stays online. Everything you write, post or comment on stays there forever. As in permanently.
- Don't be mad, be smart. If you are angry or sad or upset, cool down before you start writing emails or posting comments, especially about someone else.
- Keep your real name a secret. No need to use your real name, share your address or give out your number. Come up with a nickname that you can use across lots of sites.
- Don't be bullied. If someone is giving you a hard time online, don't respond and fall into their trap. Report their behavior to an adult and to the website you are using, then keep hanging out with your real friends online.
- Use Your Manners. Just because you are online, doesn't mean you can forget to be nice to other people; you can also still say please and thank you.
Resources for Parents
Tips for Parents from Shawn Edgington:
Shawn Marie Edgington is America's leading "Texpert" and cyberbullying prevention expert. She's the author of "Read Between the Lines: A Humorous Guide to Texting with Simplicity and Style" and "The Parents Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media." Shawn recommends Fanlala as a safe social media site. Fanlala is all about proactive messaging in a cool way, the right way.
Online Safety Tips for Parents
- "Internet Safety 1-2-3" - Three steps to make a household safer. Step 1) Do an inventory of existing devices and connected technologies. Survey your needs and ability to devote time to the issues. Step 2) Determine and set your rules and communicate them to your children and caregivers (including grandparents and family-members). Step 3) Enforce the rules that you have established.
- "Be Password Smart" - Make sure to use strong passwords. A strong password contains at least eight (8) characters and contains upper/lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. If there are multiple users on the machine, don't stay logged in.
- "Google yourself" - Search for your whole name. Search for your cell number, screen names, and email addresses. Search for your nicknames and home address. Then set a Google Alert. That will send you an email any time Google finds this information online. The faster you know about something that is posted about you that shouldn't be, the faster you can do something about it.
Just as a child may encounter bullying or aggressive behavior from other students in school, they may be subject to bullying online. Cyberbullies may send harmful and cruel words or images through the Internet or an electronic device such as a cell phone, in order to harass, embarrass, humiliate, and threaten their target. Other forms of bullying include password hacking, identity theft, and blackmail. Many kids may be equally likely to become bullies or victims. While some are anonymous, cyberbullies are often kids who are known by a child from their school, camp, community group, or neighborhood.
It is important to talk openly with children about how to handle cyberbullying issues. If your child encounters a form of cyberbullying, remember that bullies thrive on the reactions of their targets. Children should avoid escalating the situation by refraining from responding to the bully. Parents should contact your local authorities if the problem persists. Be sure to save all messages, including dates and time.
Internet Safety Laws
A federal law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), was created to help protect kids online. It's designed to keep anyone from obtaining a child's personal information without a parent knowing about it and agreeing to it first. COPPA requires websites to explain their privacy policies on the site and get parental consent before collecting or using a child's personal information, such as a name, address, phone number, or Social Security number. The law also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or participate in a contest. But even with this law, your kids' best online protection is you. By talking to them about potential online dangers and monitoring their computer use, you'll help them surf the Internet safely.