If you’re holding out hope that the Internet is just a fad that will blow over soon, here are some numbers that might bring you back to reality: Almost 94% of teens (ages 12 through 17) go online. Of that same age group, almost three-quarters maintain profiles on one or more social networking sites, almost half have uploaded photos somewhere online, and nearly 15% have uploaded videos.
The bottom line? The Internet users of tomorrow are already using the Internet today. And it’s going to be around a long, long time.
With all this activity online, it’s no wonder parents are scrambling to find the best ways to protect kids on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat (just to name a few). So what’s the best way to keep your kids safe?
Software solutions exist, pitting technology against technology in order to monitor Internet activity and report any behavior that falls outside of the established parameters. Instagram monitoring tools, iPhone monitoring software, and even Internet content filters can, to a certain extent, shield children from many of the dangers of the Internet.
But the best iPhone monitoring software in the world can’t replace good old-fashioned parent-to-child communication. Sitting down and talking to your kids about what kinds of online behavior are okay and what kinds aren’t is a crucial first step in establishing the kind of trust you need to have in this age of instant information. The Internet can be a vastly powerful learning tool for your children — but only if they go about it safely.
If you never let your kids leave the house, they technically lead a safer life. But they’ll also miss out on all the world has to offer. Learning how to protect kids on social media and the Internet in general doesn’t mean shutting out that immense world — it just means learning the safest ways to navigate it, so they can truly get the most out of it.