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Seven Steps to Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

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I recently had the honor of joining Verizon and the CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, Stephen Balkam for lunch in Los Angeles to talk about tools we can use to help keep our kids safe online. As a parent, it is not easy to keep up with all the changes happening in the digital world, and it is more important than ever to help keep our kids safe online. While talking with Balkam, he shared these seven steps to good digital parenting with us:

Talk with your kids

  • Stay calm
  • Talk early and often
  • Be open and direct

Educate Yourself

  • Search online for anything you don’t understand
  • Try out the apps, games, and sites yourself
  • Explore the GDP tips and resources

Use Parental Controls

  • Activate the safety settings in your operating system, search engine, and games
  • Use the parental controls on your children’s phones, tablets, and game consoles
  • Monitor your kids’ use and their screen time

Set Ground Rules and Apply Sanctions

  • Agree and sign and family safety contract
  • Set time and place limits for their tech use
  • Enforce sanctions when necessary

Friend and Follow but don’t Stalk

  • Friend your kids on social media
  • Respect their online space and don’t over do it
  • Encourage your kids to create a good digital reputation

Explore, Share and Celebrate

  • Go online with your kids and explore their online world
  • Take advantage of new ways of communicating
  • Learn from them and have fun

Be a Good Digital Role Model

  • Curb your own bad digital habits
  • Know when to unplug
  • Show your kids how to collaborate and create online

Along with sharing these seven tips, we talked about the great tools that Verizon new Smart Family tool that is available to help parents monitor and keep their kids safe when online. With Verizon’s Smart Family tool you can keep track of the kids, limit their screen time and block inappropriate content.

With the location tracking, you can have peace of mind knowing exactly where your kids are located, and you can get alerts when your kids come home or leave. One of my favorite features is that you’ll have the ability to pause the internet right at your fingertips! If you’re worried about the apps that your children have downloaded, you can monitor all their apps to ensure they are only utilizing age-appropriate apps.

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