Unfortunately, not all parents we talk to see eye to eye when it comes to monitoring their teen and tweens’ internet activity. By that we mean unfortunate for the parents, since by forming a united front you stand the best chance to keeping kids your safe and their activity age-appropriate on the internet, which is a very big place.
We understand the difference in opinion. Basically, most parents trust their kids, but some more than others. Some parents value the privacy of their kids more than others. Some parents are more inclined to think that nothing bad could happen to their child. It can happen, either by mistake, oversight or by something that someone else does.
Even if you’re the parent of the best child in the world (I know I am), here are some of the things that can happen.
Cyberbullying – Sure, your teen may not be a bully, but if she is a victim, will you find out about it? Only 41% of teens who are cyberbullied report it to an adult. You will want to know before it escalates.
Predator risk – The younger your child, the more important it is for her to avoid meeting strangers online, but predators may be seeking her out. Is her phone’s GPS settings, or Geolocation data, giving an exact roadmap to her location at all times? That can be a recipe for disaster.
Beware the “friends” – Perhaps your daughter has never posted anything inappropriate online. What about her friends? Anything that they post about her, including pictures, can go unnoticed until it’s too late.
Privacy settings – Your child may think her privacy settings are on lockdown on the social networks that she uses, but it’s difficult to be sure. Networks change their privacy settings all the time, and she may be exposed. Even teens seeking privacy can run into issues. On Facebook for example, the average teen user has about 300 “friends”. How private is that?
You should trust your kids. You have raised them well. We are big fans of giving kids some level of freedom, depending on their maturity level, to learn, discover and grow up. Part of the reason (not a small one) that we designed ThirdParent as we did is so that parents could effectively implement a “trust but verify” strategy. If you’re pretty sure that your kids are keeping it safe and appropriate online, but want to be 100% sure, we have a solution. We let truly private information stay private, and alert parents to anything public that needs attention. You can sign up today.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.