Kids Home? Rethink Their Digital Security or it Will Bite You

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

If you had asked me a few months ago what I felt about “screen time” and kids, I would have told you that I wouldn’t give my kids their own devices or allow social media accounts until they were 15. But things have changed. Now, I’m happy to let the kids on the family tablet, and even allow them to use things like FaceTime, games, and email. Why? Because I want to make sure that they have some type of connection to the outside world.

However, this didn’t happen without some ground rules, not only to keep the kids safe, but to make sure they don’t totally fall headfirst into cyberspace. Here’s some tips:

No Social Media

Oh you didn’t think I was gonna give you a pass did you? No, my 14-year-old is still not on social media, and she doesn’t complain about it, she doesn’t miss it, and she’s better off for it. First of all, it’s a time suck, it’s often a cesspool of BS, misinformation, disinformation, and just plain mean-ness.

Sure my kids might get the occasional TikTok video from one of their friends, but they don’t have the app, they’re not spending any time on it, and while they might learn a TikTok dance or two, they’re certainly not recording one and posting it online.

Teach Your Kids to Respect Digital Devices

There are a number of ways that you can do this, including setting a rule that they must ask permission before they use the device or go online. By doing this, you are making them conscious of their actions.

Set Rules on When They Can Have Access to Certain Apps or Devices

Another thing you can do is make sure that you set rules about when your kids can access certain devices or aps. For instance, maybe make a rule that they must use devices in common areas, or they can only use game apps after dinner. Whatever the case, you should be checking in on what they are doing.

Create a Schedule

Only allow your kids to use devices when you are available to help or when you know they can’t get in trouble. Allow them to watch Netflix while you are in an online meeting but bring the remote with you.

Create an Agreement

Also, think about a “tech agreement” for your kids. If they break the rules, there will be consequences, just like they have with other rules in your home.

Discuss Online Privacy and Tone

One of the most important things to do is discuss online privacy and tone. Kids don’t always realize that what goes on the internet can stay there forever. Suggest, perhaps, telling your kids not to do anything they wouldn’t do or say with grandma in the room. It works.

Tell Them Your Expectations

Talk to your kids about what you are comfortable with…or not…when they are online. For instance, if you don’t want them talking to strangers, there are email programs that allow you to approve and email that is sent and received. There are similar chat programs.

Is it Time to Talk About Pornography?

This might be the perfect time to talk about pornography, too. Experts say conversations about this should start around kindergarten. To minimize the chances your kid will access it, use parental controls or kid-friendly browsers.

Understand that Kids Will be Kids

Finally, take a deep breath and realize that kids will be kids. As long as they are being safe and polite, allowing them access to these things might be the best way to get through these nationwide quarantines.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of CreditParent.com, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.

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Rainmaker
3,499,821
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

A terrific post, Robert. All I can say is that I'm so happy I'm not raising kids in this day and age of social media and the internet.

Jul 22, 2020 09:43 AM #1
Rainmaker
2,203,148
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Robert Siciliano -  lots of things to know.  I am sure that my daughters will see to it that the grandchildren are monitored.

Jul 22, 2020 10:20 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,401,701
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Robert, 

I allow about a half-hour of screen time which is strictly monitored with my grandchild.  AND this is only if he gets his chores done. 

Jul 22, 2020 12:12 PM #3
Rainmaker
1,565,669
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

It must be really tough raising kids these days!  Porn conversations in kindergarten! OMG. 

Jul 22, 2020 08:47 PM #4
Rainmaker
581,824
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Kudos to you for keeping your kid off social media--there is so much peer pressure about it, especially with girls. There can be benefits to using it but for teens--does seem like a time suck . Heck it's a time suck for addicted adults as well!

Jul 23, 2020 09:30 AM #5
Rainer
504,951
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

All good stuff except the experts advocacy to talk about pornography starting in kindergarten. Those experts are liberals and IMO morons yet, children at 5 years of age couldn't comprehend a lot of information let alone pornography. 

Jul 24, 2020 10:43 PM #6
Ambassador
4,254,906
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Robert:

Thanks for some excellent tips. Things were certainly different when my kids were little, but I sure see the issues these days with our grandkids. It's pretty scary what they know how to do, and they have no fear of playng about with ipads and iphones. And having been raised by parents who are very tech oriented they have an opportunity to observe all sorts of things from a very young age.

Jeff

Jul 27, 2020 08:45 AM #7
Rainmaker
3,425,845
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and keep the blogs coming!

Jul 29, 2020 07:52 AM #8
Rainmaker
3,489,005
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.

Jul 31, 2020 02:31 AM #9
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