Many people ask me where I find time to balance all of the aspects in my life from the kids, working two jobs, school and having time for socializing as well! Sometimes, I use Facebook as my escape from all the madness that can take place in one day. This also helps me keeps tabs on current events, local news as well as see what my friends with kids have going on. Like most users, Facebook allows me to share pictures of my kids, things happening in my life, and any other information I want those to know that I do not see on a daily basis.
Keeping these Social media relationships is important for me to stay and feel engaged when I don’t have time to talk to people individually. Facebook has also been a useful tool for building a network of business contacts and relationships that might be useful in the future. Admittedly, I fill most of my free minutes checking on what is going on with my contacts in my social accounts, and for me, that’s mainly Facebook.
Social media is not for everyone but with the many opportunities connecting online provides, I believe more and more people have jumped on the social media train. I believe we will see an increase in use of these tools from kids, busy parents and even grandparents as time goes on, because there they are accessible and easy to use.
As more and more kids join social networks such as Facebook, and other sites, all parents need to be aware of what is happening and monitor their activity. My children are still too young, but I will be on top of what they are doing within social media wise when they get older. Here are some tips to help you keep your kids safe on social media.
Enforce the Age Requirement Rules in Social Media
Never allow kids younger then the age of thirteen to create a Facebook account. Facebook created this minimal age requirement, and I think parents should enforce it with their kids. Once they have an account, insist that you have the password at all times to make sure you can see the private messages and other details that they might hide from you if you aren’t given access to their account. *Note: Facebook has privacy settings that would enable a young user to hide content from their parents if they wanted to.
Privacy Settings are The Best Way to Control the Account
Make sure your kids’ privacy settings at are at the strictest level possible. This will help keep your kid and computer protected. Kids aren’t usually very savvy about safe links, and they can easily click links that are malicious and might damage your computer. There are settings that will make sure only people who are friends can see their posts, pictures, etc. It’s extremely important that parents have some awareness of these settings – usually by having their own accounts set up and becoming familiar with the best settings to be in place to protect your children.
Monitoring tools and Apps can help keep an eye on your children.
Use different types of filtering software to track what websites your kids are visiting on the Internet, chat activity and even cell phone use. I have had conversations with parents who feel like they would be violating their child’s privacy when I ask them how they monitor their kids’ social media accounts. I think it’s our job to keep our kids safe and believe we have to monitor them as much as we can. Starting with keeping the home computer in a central location so that you can easily view what is happening, but realizing sometimes, that isn’t enough and investing in software and apps for the smart phones that make sure you know where they are and what they are doing in their accounts.
Mom Approved Resources
Sites like Qustodio can help you manage their activity from a single dashboard, “set responsible time limits, to block dangerous or inappropriate content, and to monitor for signs of cyberbullying and online predators.” Cold Turkey allows you to block social mediasites for a particular time period, like when a child is supposed to be studying, or has been placed on restriction. TeenSafe allows you to view texts, see phone location, view inbound and outbound calls and see phone location. There are other integrations with social platforms like WhatsApp.