Back-To-School Online Safety Tips From AT&T

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Some may be in session already, but school for the bulk of Michigan students kicks off on Tuesday, September 2nd.

And now that students integrate technology in their daily lives, it’s more important than ever that parents keep tabs on their kids’ activities. Below are some tips from AT&T that will help parents support their children’s use of technology safely and responsibly.

 1.       Get tech savvy. Talk to your children about what sites they’re visiting on the Internet and what kind of social media they are participating in. You should even experiment with them yourself. This will give you a better feel in evaluating the risks and potential abuses. Friend them or follow them.

2.       Check privacy settings on social media, but emphasize there is no privacy. The more private, the less likely inappropriate material will be received by your child, or sent to their circle of acquaintances. But make sure your child understands that everything sent over the Internet or smartphone is public and can be shared with the entire world, so it is important that they use good judgment in sending messages and pictures and sharing on social media.

3.       Set rules for texting. Only allow texting at specific times – no texting at school, no texting until homework’s done, and no texting after certain hours at night. Tell your child you have the right to monitor the texts that are sent and received.

4.       Research what your carrier offers that can help. For example, Smart Limits allows parents to block unwanted calls and texts from up to 30 numbers, set monthly limits on texts and mobile purchases and restrict texting, data usage and outbound calling during specified times of day.      

5.       Set boundaries. A parent’s responsibility in overseeing technology use is not much different than in other areas of daily Set clear boundaries on appropriate and inappropriate uses of technology. Makes sure these rules and consequences of breaking them are clear. And monitor use to make sure they are following the rules.

Above all, don’t be intimidated. Even if you’re less savvy about technology than your children, you have the tools to make your job simpler in an even more complicated world.

Even though I have a 7 year old, second grader, I can appreciate these tips. My daughter is extremely tech savvy. She has a mini-I-Pad. She uses apps, views  videos on YouTube, and calls friends using Facetime. My husband and I have set privacy settings with passcodes and restrictions on her mini-I-Pad. We make it a point to have her using her devices when we are present. We often check her history and listen/watch the videos she views. We have set this stuff in motion at an early age, so we are not overwhelmed down the road. 

 

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News Reporter
Jill is a former teacher who is now a stay at home mommy, by choice, of her active 7 yr old daughter, Kelsey Anne, in Livonia, Michigan. On the side, she works as a Social Media & Marketing Coordinator for a Michigan based Protocol Company with 25 years experience, specializing in creating, managing, and producing gala events for dignitaries, celebrities and non-profit organizations throughout the country. She also volunteers at her daughter's school, has recently started substitute teaching, enjoys entering contests and sweeps, & spending time with her family. You can follow her on Twitter @jillkathan.
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