It’s back-to-school time! Which also means back to technology, and maybe new devices for returning students. As parents, it can be difficult to keep on top of everything kids are using, so here are some tips to help you out.
Signing a Device Contract
Whenever you enter in to an agreement with another person (taking a job, renting a house) you sign a contract. Why? Because it is an easy way to set rules ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page. I highly recommend setting up a contract with your children regarding the use of their digital devices.
Contracts are a great way to establish terms and resolve conflicts later. It serves to both protect your child and manage expectations of the device’s use. You can download an editable copy FREE from my site, or you can make your own.
Why Age Matters
I am privileged to speak to many elementary school students but it never ceases to amaze me how much younger kids are getting on to social networks. Does it *really* matter if a 10 year old signs up for Instagram? Unfortunately, yes. COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, has put many rules in to place to protect young children from the reaches of advertisers and third party companies. For this reason, the entry age to most networks is 13. By lying about age on sign up, your child could be exposed to many things an adult would far earlier than when they turn 18.
For more information about COPPA and Internet Safety for kids, you can read my full story here.
Technology has added a lot of amazing things to our lives. But like all good things, there are risks and there are rules. By following some simple guidelines, we can all enjoy time online in a safe and effective way.
Cat Coode is the founder of Binary Tattoo, whose mission is to educate you and your children about online safety, empowering you to make smarter choices and better understand online identities.