Internet Safety Information for Parents
What you need to know about social media Cyberbullying resources for parents
Kids want to play games and to communicate with their friends, but parents often don’t understand the pros and cons of allowing their kids unlimited and unsupervised cell phone and online access – especially when the computer is isolated in the child’s bedroom away from parental oversight. Some students even stay up late after their parents are asleep and are tired the next day at school.
Many middle school students have already created Facebook or My Space pages and may have lied about their ages in their online profiles. Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace are blocked on all school computers, but frequently the things that are posted on these pages outside of school cause arguments and other problems at school between students. Also remember that you do not have the legal right to post pictures of someone else's child on the Internet to Facebook or YouTube if they are under 18 without the parents' permission even if it is from a school event.
Parents can go to http://www.myspace.com or http://www.facebook.com and search for their child's page. Remember that even if a page is marked "private", all of the people who have been added as "friends" can see the page AND perhaps all the "friends" of those "friends" can, too! Nothing posted on these pages is truly private. Sometimes the things students post on these sites is read by prospective college admissions officers and/or prospective employers.
Several arrests have occurred in Hampshire County when people traveled here to meet "a 14 year old girl" they met online who was really a deputy sheriff. If you have any information about children being exploited on the Internet, report it to http://cybertipline.com
Helpful Sites for Parents
The following links will help parents understand the advantages and also the dangers of kids surfing the net, chatting online, and posting to online social pages. Many of these sites include online games, videos, and activities to teach children about online safety.
Social Media Articles for Parents
Cyberbullying Specific Articles:
Cyberbullying is Parents’ #1 Fear: http://www.care.com/child-care-survey-cyberbullying-is-parents-1-fear-p1017-q3629717.html
How to be a Plugged-in Parent: http://www.care.com/child-care-how-to-be-a-plugged-in-parent-p1017-q8150598.html
Cyberbullying Infographic: http://www.care.com/child-care-cyberbullying-found-as-parents-1-fear-p1017-q3623116.html