How do You Monitor your Kids Online?
I am always monitoring the kids who I consider family online. They might no realize it but Big “Tio” is Watching with Daredevil’s radar capabilities. Since my job requires me to be online most of the day, I am usually one of the first to catch any behavior that can be risky. Many times kids can expose themselves innocently and how quickly you correct them, can actually turn into a learning experience. Being the adult, I feel that I am committed towards making sure they are safe online and offline.
People use many practices to monitor their kids online. Some of them are explicit and some of them are more on the sneaky side.
I remember a contact of mine that gave me his email so I could include him on as a contact of my mailing lists regarding technology tips (he was a nice guy but not very IT Savvy). I took his email and kept in my gmail contacts. On one occasion in 2007 I ended up running the Gmail Contacts tool on Facebook and it sent out invitations to all of my business contacts his email was included.
Weeks later, I bumped into the individual and he asked me why I friended his daughter on Facebook ( I think his daughter was about 13 ). When he asked me this question I was very confused. It was scary and frustrating not to have an answer for him because I did not know what he was talking about. Later that evening I checked my Facebook contacts which where over 3,000 (one of the reasons I cut back on contacts) and found his daughter. I felt terrible but still had no explanation. This worried me greatly and I kept thinking of the situation for weeks. Every time I saw him I felt like I owed him an answer. A few months later I ran the Google Contacts tool and I saw that she was about to be added again.
When I looked at the email she used to open up her facebook account, it was her dad’s email. I was so happy to finally have an answer for him. He later clearly apologized for putting me in an awkward situation. His accusations where heavy but he clearly had no understanding of what had happened.
You could clearly see the dad was monitoring his daughter’s account but I am still not sure why you would allow a young child on Facebook if you are not too familiar with technology.
Here are some tips for you to follow when opening up a Facebook account with your kids:
Your kid is 13 years old as requirement by Facebook Policies Look under Registration and Account Security.
Make sure you create an account for your kid and hold him completely accountable.
Be explicit let him know that you get alerts and will be monitoring his use.
Setting up a forward to your email address of requests. It might also help with not having to go into his account and teaching him the importance of protecting his/ her password.
In future posts we will be covering tricks and tools to monitor your kids use online.
Do you have any tools you would like us to cover? What tools do you use effectively that you can share with the alliance?
photo credit by Kecko