Tech Tips

Internet Myths and Truths

Keeping It Real

If you believe everything you hear about kids online, you'd think a cyberbully or computer virus is lurking around every cyber-corner. Yes, there is bad stuff out there. However there is also a lot of good stuff out there too. How do we keep our kids safe without developing a "techno-panic" mindset? Knowing the facts can set your worries free.

Posting Pictures of my kid is a No-No

MYTH: It's dangerous to post pictures of your kids online.

TRUTH: If you use privacy settings, limit your audience, and don't ID your kids, it's pretty safe.

Although it's true that posting anything online invites some risks, there are ways to limit them if you're smart about how you do it.
  • Use privacy settings. Make sure your privacy settings are set so only the closest people in your network can view your posts.
  • Limit your audience. Only share posts with close family and friends. Or use photo-sharing sites such as Picasa and Flickr that require a log-in to see pics.
  • Don't rush your kids into social media. Obey the rules about keeping kids under 13 off social media. Once your kids have an online profile, they can be tagged in photos, which magnifies their online presence. If you're going to upload photos of them, don't identify them and don't tag them -- that way the photo can't be traced back to them.

Myth: Parental controls are the best way to monitor my kids’ onl

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

If I set up parental controls, all my worries are over

MYTH: Parental controls are the best way to monitor my kid's activity online.

TRUTH: Focusing on only one Internet safety method lulls you into a false sense of security.

To keep your kids safe online -- and to raise them to be responsible, respectful digital citizens -- it takes more than installing parental controls. For starters, parental controls can be defeated by determined kids. They also often catch too much in their filters, rendering any Internet search useless, and they set up a "parent vs. kid" dynamic that could backfire.
Smart Online Search Tips for Kids

The contents and videos in this newsletter are from Common Sense Media.

Common Sense Media contributed to the contents of this newsletter. I can't claim much orginality this week.