How To Keep Kids Safe While They Are On-line #TheSmartTalk

 

Our homeschool year started two weeks ago.  This year will be a different homeschool year, as my oldest son is taking a writing class which involves research which he will do on-line. This is a big deal because until now our kids have not surfed the internet.  They have tablets but when they want to downloaded a new app; they need my husband or my approval first.

online safety, Keeping kids safe on-line, The Smart Talk, LifeLock, National PTA

I have always said that the internet can be good and bad, especially for children.  Good because kids can learn about the subjects that are school related to enhance their education. The bad is that there are people just waiting to prey on children plus their little eyes and ears do not need to see and hear everything that is on the internet. The negative reasons are why our kids have had limited exposure to the internet, until now.  Our oldest son will be using the internet; so it is time to go over ground rules and safety.

online safety, Keeping kids safe on-line, The Smart Talk, LifeLock, National PTA

Set parental controls on tablets, computers and smartphones. 

 

Make ground rules. For instance, make sure children do not give out passwords, their address, phone number and other private information, to anyone.

 

Set security settings by utilizing anti-virus software features.

 

Periodically check internet history.

 

Educate your children about the internet and how use it.  The best resource is The Smart Talk which is a digital tool, created by LifeLock and National PTA. This new, free resource is for families to help parents have clear conversations with their children about using technology and agree on ground rules together.

smart talk 1

Kids are on electronic devices more and more. I am amazed how young they start!  Even my 2 year old has mastered my cell phone. The majority of children receiving their first smart phone between the ages of 8 and 12. While 79 percent of families have technology agreements with their children, with only 6 percent of those are written. The Smart Talk is designed to educate families to make smarter and safer choices online. 

 

boys on tablets

My son and I sat down and went through this program, step by step.  We were asked a series of questions which lead to conversations about topics such as safety and privacy, screen time, social media, apps and downloads, texting and calling, reputation and respect, and online videos and cameras. After we agreed on ground rules we made a personalized, official family agreement that I have stored in our computer. If you did not want to store it on your computer you could print it off and post it to remember the agreement made. 

Smart Talk agreement

 

How do you keep your children safe when they are using technology?  Head over to The Smart Talk to help keep your kids safe while they are using electronic devices! 

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.Mama to 5 Blessings is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    My kids are not allowed to use the internet yet, but this sounds like something I NEED to have for when they start!!

  2. I will check out The Smart Talk. I am always looking for ways to keep the kids safe on the internet. Sad that there are people out there just waiting for kids so they can take advantage of them.

  3. this is great. Son has to be online for school and I worry about him. I need to implement some of these tips.

  4. I absolutely agree that having some ground rules and lots of discussion about internet safety is a must. My kids are exposed to online everywhere…at home where I can monitor pretty well, but also at school, and friend’s and family’s homes where it’s harder for me to keep an eye. So, an open discussion and parental awareness is really important which is why I like the sounds of this Smart Talk agreement!

  5. One that we use now is the computer is in our guest room and the door has to be open. My kids are young right now but as they get older we will move it out in the family area. Great safety tips!

  6. This is a great opportunity to set the kids down and talk to them about ground rules and whats appropriate and whats not. I think this is wonderful. Its scary out there and whatever we as parents can do to have them be safer online makes me feel better

  7. You know, the kids have to print off an agreement to use the computers at school (Long before they even realize what they are “signing”) but I like this one a lot better. For our kids they have to be where we can see them at all times so we know what they are looking at. No nasty surprises here!

  8. An excellent post. Keeping kids safe online is so important. Ground rules, talking, educating, all so important

  9. I agree!! The internet is a great but scary places, especially with kids. Some of the ground rules we instill are, must be used in public place, mommy/daddy has a right to see everything you are doing, when going to a new website/app must be approved first by mom/dad, report anything to mom/dad if you feel it isn’t right. I trust my kids and luckily they have been respectful so far. They know severe consequence (i.e. taking away said device) will occur if they disobey!.

  10. I have not heard of this until now. As parents, it is our responsibility to keep our kids safe online. I will check this out.

  11. It is good that there are becoming more ways to stay safe online for youngsters. x

  12. It gets harder and harder to police what they search on the internet as they get older. At my daughter’s school they have their own laptops for communicating with their teachers, doing homework, emailing and research. It’s nearly impossible at this point to know everything they are looking at. But we have talks about this all the time at home.

  13. Keeping kids online can be so hard. There are so many dangers online that weren’t there even a few years ago.

  14. I monitor everything my kids do online. Usually they sit with me at the table while they play and read online… I have some programs on there too that block most things but this is great. We always talk about dos and dont’s online but you can never be too careful.

  15. My almost 11 year old uses the internet both on his tablet and laptop. We have parental control set up so it restricts him and others which is comforting. At any time we can look up his activity on our own devices. We can see where he has been and how long he was there.

  16. These are great ideas. The internet can be quite dangerous a times, rules are always needed.

  17. Chasity Boatman says:

    This is SO IMPORTANT. So many young kids are using technology in an unsafe manner. Frankly, kids post inappropriate pictures and messages all the time. I was shocked at my own cousin’s Instagram account. It’s so important to be on top of these things and to protect our children.

  18. I can’t even image what the internet and technology will be like when my 17 month old is old enough to use it. I image this is a tough thing to monitor especially as they reach teen years.

  19. I like this, my son is six, so surfing the internet is not something he’ll be doing soon, but I’d like to know that when he does need to venture there, that we can take the proper precautions to make sure he’s safe online.

  20. The Smart Talk App sounds ideal for most households. Its amazing you’ve kept them off the Internet for so long. These are all great tips especially about Internet History

  21. These are great tips. We have very similar guidelines and rules for the kids being on line for school one of us has to be sitting there with them.

  22. I don’t have kids but this is so important. I imagine when I have kids and they get to be an age where they can be online, I will have to be even more vigilant, as there is so much craziness on the internet these days.

  23. I think ground rules are important and limiting their use. It would be great if they would earn their time through good behavior or a job well done. Of course, parental controls is a must.

  24. My 2 year old and 5 year old know far more than I would have expected about how to work technology. I definitely need to set some ground rules soon.

  25. I agree, the ground rules should be set from the get-go. Good luck w/ your new school year!

  26. My son has started to go online more. I have had serious talks with him but this is a great reminder to do it again.

  27. My son is old enough that it’s not safety I have to worry about so much as him abusing privileges. He’s generally pretty good, but we still keep devices separate until homework and all that is finished.

  28. Michelle Liew says:

    i applaud you for taking on the challenges….and it will be so much more rewarding!

  29. I follow the advice of several research papers to limit online time to no more than 10 minutes/day for my son. Maybe I’ll let him have more time online when he is older.

  30. My sister had to have a sit down with the kids on this subject. They’re pretty safe, but they kept looking for free movies and downloading malware. I guess that’s better than accidentally seeing porn or something.

  31. I am very wary with the internet with my kids. It scares me what is out there and how many criminals are out there. These are great tips and I will be taking them and using them for our family.

  32. My son doesn’t go on the Internet but he does have access to the ipad and mobile phone. He only plays with the apps but once he starts getting on the web I’m going to be taking some precautions!

  33. I worry about my niece online. They even give them IPADs thru school now. She is constantly on. Will have to let her mother know about this.

  34. We are always looking for ways to talk to our kids about this. Thanks for the great post!

  35. Great tips! I need to check internet history. I forgot about that lol

  36. So important to have ground rules! There is so much crazy stuff on the internet!

  37. I agree that the Internet can be very useful and very damaging for kids. I love the agreement that you put together with them, and hope they enjoy using the net for school work.

  38. Online safety is such an important thing to consider for kids, love the agreement form you have made up.

  39. My niece is always online. They even give them an IPAD at school now. Will have to let her mother now about this.

  40. My kids have been trying to go online more often, simply because school work now requires it. If it was up to me, they wouldn’t get online until they were in High school! But times are changing. So making sure the kids are safe while online are super important! These are such great tips to help keep kids safe.

  41. This is so important. My niece was actually stalked online and she was only 9. It is so scary… thanks for the info

  42. We know there is so much good with the internet but when it comes to our children and grandchildren it can be scary. You offered up some great tips! Thanks!

  43. This is so important, great post!

  44. My granddaughter is too young for this to be an immediate concern, granted she is already reaching for our phones and playing on the Tablet.

  45. Our kids use the computer a lot for home school as well as for fun. This would be great for my peace of mind!

  46. I can’t imagine having children at this time of so much technology and the internet… boy, that makes me sound so old, doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰

  47. This is a great way to help keep kids safe online. When my kids were younger we had one computer and we kept it in the living room. Cell phones were not really popular yet. It was a great way to keep an eye on them..

  48. An agreement is a great way to get your kids to talk about the dangers online. I kept the computer in the kitchen so i could see what the kids were up to. Now they have their own phones so we have to try to monitor that.

  49. My kids aren’t online yet. But it is something I am getting ready to deal with when they get older.

  50. With both my grandchildren at an age where they’re on the computer a lot, this couldn’t be more helpful! Thank you for sharing these great tips! πŸ™‚

  51. Great tips! I make sure my children know the rules for being online.

  52. This is a very important post. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ The Smart Talk App sounds amazing. Will definitely be checking it out.

  53. I love how the program leads you to important discussions about online safety. This is becoming more and more important!

  54. My kids are not old enough to get online themselves yet, but this is such great information. The internet can be such a scary place.

  55. It is scary now that my kids are getting on technology more and more. I definitely try to find ways to protect them.

  56. I used to scoff at my parents when they questioned anything about my internet usage. Now that I have a young daughter of my own, I know why they did! These are great tips, thank you.

  57. This is something that has me so nervous for when my son gets older!

  58. In this day and age the internet can be such a dangerous place. This looks like a much needed program that should be implemented in all family households.

  59. I agree, Internet can always be good & bad, while the later plays the major role in spoiling a kids mind. Setting Parental controls in all their devices & also educating them more about Internet and its use is so important.

  60. We just got a family iPad (mainly for school use) so we’re dealing with figuring out the rules and limitations we need to set! Excellent ideas here!

  61. We love and use Lifelock. The only online site my oldest can go to is youtube kids on the ipad. It scares me to think of what is out there.

  62. Elizabeth O. says:

    Setting a time limit is always good, and keeping track of their activities is something that’s important too. It’s also important to educate them, we can only do so much.

  63. This is a great way to ensure that our kids stay safe online. I will look more into this.

  64. I have a 4 year old, and her being online terrifies me. For now, I have everything in the house with parental controls on it, but as she gets older, I’m going to have to put some of these guidelines in place. Thanks for sharing!

  65. This is a great way to keep kids safe online!

    xo Bree

  66. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I try to limit my kids screen time. I am also noticing that even innocent kids games have some pretty disturbing pop ups these days.

  67. Great tips! It can sometimes be overwhelming keeping an eye on more than one kids, I have five boys and its a full time time job

  68. I am so glad that you wrote this post! This is key timing, especially with kids being on the screens more for homework and projects!

  69. Thanks for sharing this. Will certainly let my kids know about The Smart Talk.

  70. Such a great idea. It’s so important to keep them safe when they go online. My oldest hasn’t really used a computer yet, but I know it will be coming soon.

  71. CourtneyLynne says:

    These are some really great tips!!!! I have afew more years before my daughter is on the Internet but glad I know how to kinda keep her safe when the time comes!

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