Most parents recognize that the internet is not always a safe place for kids. Connected devices offer great opportunities for fun and for learning, but they also present serious dangers for kids of all ages, such as cyberbullying, sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.Read More
Last week, Facebook released Messenger Kids, a version of its popular Messenger app designed specifically for kids under 13. These younger kids are technically not allowed to create full Facebook profiles, so Facebook developed Messenger Kids as a standalone app with some important parental control and safety features.
Still, while Facebook seems to have put a lot of effort into safety, some parents may feel uncomfortable with allowing their children to use this app. To help you make the best decision for your family, read on to learn what Messenger Kids does well, as well as what concerns it might still raise for some parents.Read More
It’s that time of year again! Time to make your holiday shopping lists and find the best deals on gifts for friends and family. And if you’re shopping for kids and teens, there’s a good chance that a number of those gifts involve technology. From smartphones and tablets to gaming systems, kids and teens love devices that keep them connected.
As fun as these devices are, they carry hidden dangers, such as potential exposure to pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying. So, before you hit the stores on Black Friday, gift yourself peace of mind by putting healthy guardrails around the technology you give your kids this holiday season.Read More
Here we go again. We’ve previously written about the dangers of anonymous social media apps targeted at younger users, such as Yik Yak and After School. Regardless of their developers’ intentions, these apps have earned a reputation for facilitating cyberbullying. And today we add Sarahah to our growing list of app alerts for parents.Read More
As summer break comes to an end, both parents and kids alike take advantage of back to school sales and tax-free weekends to meet their technology needs for the upcoming school year. For kids, that translates into new tech devices to learn, have fun, and communicate with friends.
But the risks associated with technology—cyberbullying, sexting, exposure to pornography—are real and rampant. With careful planning, parent-child communication, and the right tools, however, parents can put guardrails around their kids and teens’ digital experience.Read More
When working with parents to create personalized internet safety plans for their families, we often hear concerns about screen time. Prolonged screen time is especially common this time of year. Kids are getting out of school and have more unstructured time to spend flipping through their smartphones or tablets, or sitting on the couch playing videogames.
Based on a recent report by the American Association of Pediatrics, parents’ worries about screen time are legitimate. While there are certainly benefits to kids and teens interacting with technology – for example, educational apps and staying in touch with extended family – there are still good reasons for placing healthy, age-appropriate limits on screen time.Read More
A couple months back, we reviewed a social media app called After School. Because the app allows teens to post anonymously, we raised the caution flag. We acknowledged, however, that After School’s developer does seem to have implemented some important safeguards to minimize inappropriate or dangerous content. Yik Yak is a different story.Read More
Sean Wright, Affinity's Founder and President, was recently featured as a guest writer in the Tennessean. Sean shared 5 tips for keeping kids and teens safe online, which you can check out by clicking below!Read More
This post wraps up a four-part series aimed at giving parents the knowledge they need to protect children from dangerous content and interactions online. The first post discussed the dangers, such as pornography, cyberbullying, and sexting, and introduced the comprehensive internet safety plan. The second post walked you through taking a device inventory and defining your goals for internet safety. And our third post gave you a guide to five kinds of technical safeguards that can help you achieve your internet safety goals.
In our final post, we want to leave you with five tips that, in our experience, help make internet safety plans a lasting success for families.Read More
In our last post, we outlined the dangers kids and teens face online as well as why the task of protecting them is challenging. We also promised to walk you through steps you can take to develop a holistic internet safety plan for your family.
Below are the first five steps in that process. As you’ll see, they involve important information gathering that will help you make good decisions regarding which safeguards will best help you accomplish your goals as a parent.Read More
The internet is a mixed bag, as we all know. We enjoy the convenience and new experiences it offers us. But we also all have a vague sense that there’s a “bad” side of the internet—a side we don’t want children to experience. We’ve heard stories of horrible cases of cyberbullying, which at the very least can be crushing to self-esteem. We hear stories of “sexting” among younger and younger teens. And we know pornography is all too easy to find. But while we’re aware of the dangers, it can be tempting to think that none of this applies to your child.Read More