New Poll Highlights Importance of Cyber Safety for Kids

Elena Haidukova on Sep 28, 2015

Today's parents have worries that didn't even exist a generation ago. A parent from a few decades ago wouldn't have a clue what parental control software is and why it's considered a necessity by so many parents today. The plain fact is, if you're a parent, then cyber safety for kids is a concern. And not only are computers used extensively for school, homework, recreation, and entertainment, smartphones can do almost everything a full-fledged computer can.

cyber safety for kids
Mobile phones are sophisticated computers, and it's important to protect your children.

A recent C.S. Mott Children's Hospital poll about children's health found that from 2014 to 2015, "internet safety" rose from the 8th biggest child health concern to 4th. In that same time span, "sexting" (the sending of sexually explicit messages or photos by text message) went from being the 13th biggest child health concern in 2014 to 6th in 2015. Cyber-safety tips are more than just nice extras, they're essential to responsible parenting.

Sexting a Top Parental Concern

So-called "sexting" is a top concern of parents, with 45% listing it as their top cyber safety concern. Millions of adolescents have mobile phones, and it's understandable why parents want their children to have them as a safety measure. Yet nationwide, 20% of teens say they have sent or received "sext" messages. As a parent, there's no avoiding the potentially awkward conversation you need to have with your children about sexting. Not only are adolescents prone to act without thinking, they may not realize how serious the consequences can be. At best the result can be embarrassment and alienation from friends. At worst, criminal charges can be brought against underage individuals with sexual photos on their phones or other devices.

If you're paying for your child's phone service, you shouldn't feel bad about checking that phone periodically to see what it's being used for. Cyber safety for kids increasingly involves mobile devices, and there's little point in adding parental controls to your or your child's home computer if his or her smartphone is left unprotected. Unmonitored smartphone use opens up a channel for not only inappropriate text messages, but also cyber-bullying, which can easily result from the sharing of explicit texts or photos.

Keeping Track of Who Your Child Exchanges Text Messages With

It's important that you know who your child exchanges text messages with. In most cases, it will be friends exchanging mundane information about homework, sports practices and other everyday events. But you certainly don't want people you don't know to contact your children by text or phone. You need comprehensive cell phone controls that give you call and text histories, let you limit who can contact your child's number, and let you see all your child's contacts in one convenient place. Cell phone parental controls by Familoop provide exactly these functions, so you can enjoy greater peace of mind when your child is out with his or her smartphone.

cyber-safety tips
It's important to know who contacts your kids by phone and text.
Pieced-Together Cyber Security Often Has Holes

Desktop computers, laptops, tablets and phones all come with certain security features like parental locks. Operating systems and individual software programs often have parental settings as well. While you should take advantage of these features - particularly parental locks on mobile devices - trying to cobble together a comprehensive security strategy based on various cyber-safety tips can leave security gaps.

As a parent it's essential that you keep up with the latest ways technology can be used to connect children with inappropriate people or content. Fortunately, you don't have to piece together a security strategy for your children because Familoop Safeguard offers you a comprehensive solution. Not only do you get strong controls for mobile devices, you also have power beyond the parental safeguards individual operating systems and software packages offer. You can monitor all your children's online activity, including social media activity, from one convenient dashboard, and you can customize rules to suit your particular household rules, for a custom, comprehensive cyber-security solution.

While you shouldn't fear technology, it's important to understand it, know how to keep your child safe and create conditions for your children to use it and enjoy it safely. Familoop Safeguard makes it easy to do that.

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