As the holiday season approaches, many pre-teens and teens are receiving electronic devices and games. Michigan City Area Schools and the Michigan City Police Department have compiled some reminders for parents:
Keep an open line of communication with your child about what social media sites and apps they are using. Have a family meeting to discuss ground rules regarding the internet, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
Establish regular check-ins with your child to review sites and apps.
Walk through apps your child is using, and have them show you that they have set privacy filters to “friends only.”
Have them share passwords with you.
Make sure your child understands it is not okay to give out personal information (phone number, address, passwords, current locations, etc.).
Remind your children that nothing is private on the web. If they wouldn’t post it on a poster in the school lunchroom, they should not text it or post it online.
Talk to your children about webcam safety. Be sure they are not using apps or programs such as Skype and Yahoo to connect with people they do not know.
Be aware that interactive gaming, such as online games, Xbox, and PlayStation provide a place for your child to interact with strangers.
“Anonymous” is dangerous. Make sure your child understands that if things are coming to them anonymously (either online or through apps such as Ask.fm, Kik, or Facebook Messenger) they should not respond.
Stress that friends of friends may not be friends, and they should not be added as contacts.
Children should never agree to meet anyone in person that they met online.
Tell your children that if they feel threatened or bullied through electronic devices, they should tell you and/or an adult at school.
Here are some articles and links for more information:
Smartphone Family Guide:
11 Sites and Apps Kids are Heading to After Facebook:
11 Social Media Apps Teens are Using Now:
18 Tips to Stop Cyberbullying: