Ten Different Ways You can Look After the Safety of Your Socially Networked Kids Without Using Spy Software

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Sunday, August 8, 2010

poster_kids_small Usually, concerned parents install spy-on-your-kids software on the kids’ computer and monitor remotely as the kids interact on Facebook, Twitter and other sites to make sure that they do not practice any irresponsible behavior. Unfortunately, these type of software doesn’t address real life scenario. There is also valid reason behind that rationale. Suppose, they use a web-connected mobile phone or sign in Facebook from school or friend’s place. Then this type of spy software becomes useless. The bottom line is that spy software can not be a substitute for smart parenting.

The author Sam Diaz of Zdnet mentions in his article ten other ways you can keep your kids safe.

  • Be friend with your kids on Facebook: If you allow your pre-teen kids to have a Facebook profile, please, make sure that they must be friend first with their mom and dad that they can keep eye on the activities of their kids. This rule is not negotiable.
  • Be Friend with the parents of your kids’ friends: Once in a while your kids may want to stay over at their friends’ place. So, it is good to know their parents also. Parents are all over the Facebook now. It is a good idea to make friendship with the parents of your kids so that you know what kind of persons they are.
  • Keep your home pc in a common area: It may be hard for the kids to browse adult sites or practice any inappropriate activity, if anyone walks by or keep an eye what they are doing.
  • Monitor Tweeter, Flickr or YouTube: It is not only Facebook where bad things may happen. It is also required to know what kind of picture your kid is posting. What they are reading online. Or what they are watching on YouTube.
  • Check their Cell Phone: You should check what kind of Text messages your kids sent or received from their Cell phone. The videos and photos should also be checked on the device. Also, check the message history. If it is empty, find out whether they are engaging with any suspicious activities.
  • Look into the Cell Phone bill: The itemized bill should tell you what kind of text messages has been sent or received and to what numbers they have been sent. You will also be able to check the picture and video messages that have been sent.
  • Look into the Browser History: Like the Cell phone, you should also keep an eye on the History list of the browser. If those History logs are deleted, it is good to find out why it got deleted. Is there any foul play that your kids are associated with.
  • Make a Rule for the use of the PC: This rule should be applicable for cell phones and computers. The way you place no-TV rule for dinner or homework time for your kids, you should also apply similar type of rules for Computers and Cell phone.
  • Do complete shutdown once in a while: Every now and then you should shut down the computer and cell phone so that your kids do not develop any Net or Cell phone addiction.
  • Talk regularly with your kids: Parents should talk regularly with kids about the darker side of the social networking sites, the risk of sharing photos and the importance of privacy setting.
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