With summer vacation in full swing, our kids are likely spending more time on the Internet with their additional free time. Whether they are playing games or interacting with friends or family, the reality is that having access to the internet can leave kids vulnerable to hackers, predators, and identity theft. Thankfully there are several ways to help keep kids safe online:

Create an Online Contract

The best line of defense against the scary side of the Internet is your kids themselves. Creating a contract that kids and parents sign together agreeing to various conditions can help kids to think twice about their actions. Define hours and times during which the Internet can be used. List which people your child is allowed to interact with and which games they’re allowed to play. Agree to limit location information and use as little personal information as possible. Decide on appropriate consequences for breach of contract, including complete loss of device privileges. Partnering with your kids to agree on Internet usage rules and the results of not following those rules is an important step in the safety process.

Tech to the Rescue

There are several great apps available today that help keep an eye on our kids. Covering all the devices available to them is key to the apps working properly. Some of our favorites are:

Bark.us

Bark monitors all of the apps and services your kids use on any and all devices. It then sends alerts to parents if inappropriate language or content is viewed or shared. If something is detected, an alert is sent to the parents outlining the issue. There is also a dashboard that keeps track of alerts. Further, parents can control which games and apps can be accessed and when.

Disney Circle

This device is added to your existing Internet connection. It then allows the user to have complete control over who connects to the Internet, what sites and apps they can use, and it records historical data too. It can also turn off the internet to any device at the touch of a button. Touted as being extremely easy to use, Disney Circle takes the complexity out of Internet control.

Apple Family Share

Sign up devices and use parental controls to limit screen time, WiFi, account access and more.

Internet Providers

Check with your current Internet provider. Many offer Internet control options with certain hardware. Features often include protection against dangerous sites, device connection management, and more.

Location Services

Consider turning off location services on games and apps to prevent your child from being tracked by an unwanted source.

Talk It Out

Many times kids can get into a dangerous situation simply because they aren’t aware. Discuss things like fun, game-like ads that ask for personal information in order to play. It’s also important to talk about how people are not always who they appear to be, such as in a game. An adult could pretend to be a child and begin a conversation that seems harmless but could be leading to more dangerous situations. Point out that just because there are safety measures in place, it doesn’t mean they can be careless. Comparing Internet safety to our homes; just because the door is locked, doesn’t mean you don’t need to check to see who is on the other side.

Lastly, it’s important to note to your kids that once something is out on the Internet, it’s almost impossible to remove it completely. Therefore they need to be extra cautious about the images, words, and information that they put out on the Internet.

Take It From a Kid

Did you read our post about helping Hazel and Tillie, two local Girl Scouts who worked to create a website as part of their Silver Award project? These outstanding young ladies have created a page on their site dedicated to Internet safety for kids. You can read their recommendations here.

Speaking of Safety

Have you checked to make sure that your business website is secure from hackers? If you have questions about how to secure your website or any other site questions, we’re here to help. Click over to schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation and we can talk through all of your questions.

If you are a parent. If you are friends with parents. Then you need to read this interview! We’re excited to introduce you to our Hammersmith Support client, Marni Steinberg of iGen Parenting.  Marni founded this speaker series to not only educate parents but also to start a conversation between parents and their kids about the important topics facing today’s youth.  We hope you enjoy reading about Marni and iGen Parenting as much as we have enjoyed working with her!

Tell us a little about you

As a University of Arizona graduate, my college experience is a big part of my life. Even today, I am still close with my group of friends from that time. After college I moved to New York City to start my career in advertising. As hard as it was to move across country with no job, money or friends, I am proud of myself for doing it and my experience was priceless. I moved back west through Colorado and then returned home to Arizona. Professionally, I have over 25 years of experience in project management and client services, including senior positions in advertising, marketing, public relations, sponsorships, fundraising and event execution. Personally, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to the movies, eating out, hiking and exercising. The majority of my free time is now filled with my daughter’s activities and social life and I am trying to enjoy every moment of it as she really is growing up fast.

What is iGen Parenting?

I decided to start iGen Parenting because I was hearing so much about the issues and concerns my friends were experiencing with their older kids. My daughter is currently in Second Grade but, time and time I again I have said “I can see the future” through what I am hearing as friends navigate tween and teen life. I want a resource in place to provide topical information and I believe that iGen Parenting can be that resource for parents. They always say there is no manual or handbook for being a parent and every kid is different. I believe that but I also think that information from experts can help guide you. iGen Parenting will bring those experts together for you in its monthly sessions and break down some of the important topics you need to know about.

What is unique about your style and product offering?

The idea of iGen Parenting it is not only to provide speakers who are experts in their field who bring information directly to parents but also to build up the community by enabling parents to share with each other as they tackle everyday situations with their kids.

As a parent myself, I believe the iGen Parenting series will inform parents by providing them with expert advice and information about a host of important topics like drugs, bullying, cyber-safety, tolerance and emotional wellness.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

If you see a need for a service, fill it! Let your passion be your fuel.

Want to learn more about iGen Parenting? Click on their contact information below! Their upcoming speakers series schedule is below as well:

info@igenparenting.com

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www.igenparenting.com

Tuesday, August 20 – How to Reach, Teach and Support Today’s Kids

Tuesday, September 17 – Drugs in Middle School

Tuesday, October 15 – Raising Good Digital Citizens While Keeping Them Safe Online

Tuesday, November 19 – Keeping the Conversation Going with Your Tween

Tuesday, January 14 – Your Tween’s Mood: When Is It More Than ‘Just a Phase’?

Tuesday, February 11 – Suicide Warning Signs

Tuesday, March 24 – No Place for Hate in the Schools (ADL Hate Crime Initiative)

Tuesday, April 21 – Arizona Laws and Your Tween: What You Don’t Know

Want to read more about women in business? Click on over to our blog page to find more!