TIPS & tools FOR PARENTS
• EDUCATE yourself and be ACTIVE on social media. Understand the apps your kids are using – it’s impossible to monitor and see potential issues if you cannot use that app yourself. Be aware of age restrictions on social media sites.
• Always FRIEND your kids on their social media – you don’t have to be super-busy and comment on everything they post, but make sure you can see their activity to head off potential problems.
• TAKE CARE when sharing your OWN images and stories of your children on social media – lead by example!
• Consider MONITORING online activities (see table below)
• TALK with your kids about the reasons you need to monitor their social media use, and what you will be watching out for. Discuss honouring their privacy, but watching out for sexting/ bullying/gambling, etc.
MONITORING PCs and HOUSEHOLD DEVICES
The software mentioned above allows users to block unwanted web content, limit screen time, restrict the use of risky applications etc.
The software mentioned in the above image is more specific to smartphones and mobile devices.
IMPORTANT: Parental control software is NOT a substitute for open communication – the two work hand-in-hand. Have open (and ongoing) conversations with your children about the importance of responsible device usage. Consider using Ask To Buy via Family Sharing on iphones, kids will need to get your permission before downloading apps. On Android devices use purchase approvals via Google Play.
SOCIAL MEDIA APPS and how to set privacy, block and report bullying:
- PRIVACY SETTINGS
- BLOCK (on Facebook app):
- click on three horizontal lines, bottom right corner
- scroll down to PRIVACY SHORTCUTS
- select ADD to BLOCKED LIST
- Click and type the name of the person you want to block
- select and click BLOCK.
- FB BULLYING HUB
- REPORT BULLYING ON FB
- BLOCK ON MESSENGER:
- Select the user you want to block from messaging you
- Select the cog wheel near their name
- Select ‘Block messages’
- REPORT BULLYING ON MESSENGER
- PRIVACY SETTINGS FOR SNAPCHAT
- BLOCK ON SNAPCHAT:
- Go to your friends list and tap the name of the offender
- Hit the gear icon that appears next to their name
- Select ‘Block’ to stop receiving Snapchats or ‘Delete’ if you want to remove them from contacts.
- REPORT SNAPCHAT BULLYING
- TURN ON GHOST MODE (hides location of user):
- Open Snap Map from Snapchat home screen (pinch fingers from the outside of frame toward middle)
- Press the COG icon in the upper right corner (across from “Search” bar)
- Select “Ghost Mode”.
• MESSENGER KIDS – info
APPS TO AVOID!
- MELON – anonymous video sharing app with zero privacy filters.
- KIK – messaging app known for a large number of predators.
- SARAHAH – app where you can anonymously share feedback about each other.
Any app that allows users to be anonymous.
Check out the ‘risk ratings’ of current apps on the Protect Young Eyes site. Educate your kids on how to detect apps that are unsafe and dangerous. New apps are being developed all the time so education is key.
Once again, get to know the game your child/teenager wants to play.
Consider ‘private spaces’ for multi-player gaming is less likely to attract unknown players into your child’s cyber-space. Unlike public gaming, private games restrict games to real-life friends – many games offer private sessions off-the-shelf, while some require further investment. For example Minecraft (a popular video game that allows kids to build structures and adventure in a virtual world) offers private servers called “Realms” which are like an are invite-only private playground that can be rented for your child and friends, reducing the risk of ‘stranger danger’.
OTHER USEFUL APPs
- HELP ME
- The Denise & Bruce Morcombe Safety app. you can call for help at the push of a button – for iOS and Android.
- Moment app (ios) or Quality Time (android).
- Know HOW MUCH time your family members are spending online? You might be surprised! Check usage with these apps. (Tip: get your teenagers to check and know their own usage.)
BE FAMILIAR WITH your SCHOOLS’ CYBER POLICIES! Work with your school where issues arise… remember:
What else can I do if my child is being bullied online?
- kidshelpline allows your child to talk it out with people with experience in this area.
- eheadspace is for young people and families facing tough times.
Resources and further reading: Kids Helpline, Rural Resources, PC Mag WEB monitoring, PC Mag PHONE monitoring, Skymesh 6 Simple Tips, QCL Boarding School bullying article, The Cyber Safety Lady, Susan Mclean Cyber Safety Solutions, Rebecca Sparrow: Before You Hit Send ,
Disclaimer: BIRRR are not specialists in this area, and you are encouraged to read widely on this topic if you have primary or secondary age children.