June 14, 2018

When You Read What's Below, You'll Know Why It's More Imperative Than Ever Protect Your Kids From Digital Dangers This Summer
... and All Year Long!

 

Dear Friends,Displaying

Now, more than ever, it is critical to make sure your kids' cyber experiences are safe. The dangers that come with unrestricted Internet access are real. 

Take for instance a recent report that stated porn addiction is affecting children as young as eight! You read that correctly. Kids, who should be out learning how to swim or ride a two-wheeled bike are having to seek intensive therapy for addition to pornographic content! Friends, this is tragic and unacceptable no matter how we slice it.

The dangers don't stop there. Online predators will be scouring the Internet this summer preying upon unsuspecting youth as kids are out of school and spending more time online. With school out, chances are your kids will have more time to use desktops, laptops, smart phones, gaming devices and tablets. 

Before they sink into their summer routine using these devices, it's up to you, parents, grandparents and caregivers to make sure your kids' summertime cyber-experiences are positive and safe.


June is Internet Safety month, and Enough Is Enough® is here to support you. 
We've created a simple acronym to help you remember steps to protect your children from online dangers. ?Think "SUMMER."
    


    
Set clear expectations and establish an ongoing dialogue.

Before Internet-enabled devices get turned on, you can make a positive impact on your child's Internet experience. When parents talk regularly with their kids about the Internet, kids demonstrate fewer risky behaviors while online. Plan a time when you can have a serious conversation with your kids to discuss expectations for use of the Internet this summer. Then daily and at very least weekly, reinforce those expectations and spend time with your child online to create an atmosphere of trust. Encourage your children to make good decisions and temper your reactions if they run into danger.

 To ensure you and your child understand these expectations, together review and sign the Rules N' Tools youth pledge

Understand the need for cyber-safety and implement Rules N' Tools on all Internet-enabled devices including desktops, laptops, smart phones, gaming devices and tablets.

The top 3 tools I recommend that every parent use on all devices used by your kids are filtering, monitoring and time limiting tools, and start young. 

Ideally, review the Internet Safety 101SM video clips on our YouTube channel and consider using them as conversation starters with your tweens and teens. Also, we encourage you to get a copy of the Internet Safety 101SM Workbook and Resource Guide which is currently available during our inventory clearance sale price of $5.00, (retail price $29.95). Next, we recommend printing out the Rules N' Tools checklist and posting it in a place where you will see it frequently, like on the refrigerator. Take five minutes each week to review the checklist. 

Set up time limits by using the time-limiting tools in your parental controls on all the devices your kids use that will restrict endless, all-day access. 

When we more fully understand a danger, we are more likely to implement and follow through with practices that will keep us and our children protected. 

Make sure you are 'friends' with your child on social networking sites and gaming sites.

Be sure you, as the parent or grandparent, are added to your child's 'friends' and 'followers' lists; otherwise if their profiles are set to private - as they should be - you will not be able to view any of your child's activity. If you are unsure whether your child has an online profile, conduct a simple online search.

Also, it's likely this summer that kids will bring their mobile device to their friend's house or to events and then post pictures and videos on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. If you're friends with your children on social networking sites, you will see what they are posting and what other kids or adults post on your child's social media profile or on YouTube. Kids' online and offline lives have merged, and it's important you not only know your child's friends in real life but are also aware of their digital relationships.

Match online time with quality time.

Kids love spending time on the Internet. But they also love spending time with you. Make sure you set technology time outs each day to spend with your kids doing something they enjoy. It doesn't need to be an all day affair, but regular quality time will deepen your relationship with your child.

Additionally, make sure your kids are spending quality face time with their friends and family members and engage in outdoor play.

Evolve with the Internet and mobile technologies.

Digital technology is constantly changing and developing. In order to fully protect your kids from digital dangers, stay up to date on the latest technology, platforms and apps your child is using. 

Growing Wireless has collaborated with Wireless Corporations to develop a site listing all of the 'Parental Control Tools' available by your wireless and internet service providers. Many of these controls are free but they don't work unless you use them. 

Review, research and monitor the sites your children view.

Consider using monitoring software. Monitoring/accountability software can provide a full and complete record of where your child goes online, monitor outgoing and incoming communications, and identify a child's online friends. More robust monitoring tools lets parents see each website their children visit, view every e-mail or instant message they send and receive, and can even record every word they type. Many monitoring tools can send parents a periodic report summarizing their child's Internet usage and communications. EIE recommends that parents tell their children that monitoring software is being used.


Please, before you let a day of summer go by, take some time to learn about online dangers at EIE's Internet Safety 101SM website. We've got loads of great information on a variety of Internet safety topics, as well as recommended tools to keep your kids protected in the digital world. Let's work together to provide a safer, kinder Internet for children and families! 


Have a great and cyber-safe summer!

    
President & CEO 
Enough Is Enough®