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.
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.
Anonymous social media apps are nothing new. But parents and school officials are leery about one of the newer kids on the block: After School, a smartphone app designed to let teens share anonymous posts with their classmates.
There’s a good chance that many of the gifts you got your children during the holiday season involved 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 dangers along with them, such as exposure to pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying. So, now that we’re all back in the swing of things after the holidays, it’s time to get serious about putting safeguards around the technology we’ve given kids and teens.
For busy parents, staying on top of the latest trending apps is incredibly difficult. To make that job a little easier, here’s an overview of Calculator+, a potentially dangerous app that parents should be on the lookout for.
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!
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.
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.
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.