Back in 2009 when Ridgecrest Summer Camps first began our Parent Blog, we posted about several ways you can create a cybersafe home. “This generation of parents is the first to face the challenge of helping our children make the most of their virtual space while keeping them safe in it.” (1) This rings more truly today than it did 8 years ago.
The world has rapidly changed since then, and the dangers of online activity apply to more than just what your child searches on the internet. Online bullying, predators, and in-app advertisements are one click away from accessing information about internet users, especially children. Comparitech is an online blog that has recently posted steps you can take to block unwanted contact and advertisements from the websites and apps your child might use. Since we at Ridgecrest Summer Camps want to continue partnering with you the parent as you invest in your child, we are pointing you to some professionals regarding these touchy issues.
This link will take you to a very informative blog posted by Comparitech in 2016. This guide is slightly different because it tackles the issue of online privacy which can span not only protecting children from online predators but also things like preventing identity theft (the FTC estimates that close to 3.5m children have had their SS number stolen for example) and ways to minimize the risks of the household computer becoming compromised. Take the time to read this blog and hear what the professionals have to say.
“Protecting Children’s Privacy Online- A Guide for Parents, Carers, and Educators”
Feel free to refresh your memory on other ways to create a cybersafe home that can still be applicable today. To access the blog posted by Ridgecrest Summer Camps in 2009, click the link here!http://parentsblog.ridgecrestcamps.com/tag/cybersafe-home/
Posted in Just For Parents | Tagged Camp Crestridge for Girls, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys, internet safety, parent resources, Parenting Teenagers, Privacy Protection, Ridgecrest Summer Camps | Leave a reply
As friends of your family that care about what happens to your kids, we here at Ridgecrest Summer Camps want to empower you with tools that help you parent well. If you currently have kids on Facebook, this info may be helpful. And if your kids aren’t on Facebook yet, then chances are they will be one day, or they will be on whatever comes along next. Either way, we want you to be informed about options that are designed and available for parents just like you…
“An ongoing debate continues on how to keep younger Facebookers safe on the site, which already enforces a rule that users be at least 13 years old.
Some parents believe the easiest and most effective handling of the situation is to simply say “no” even to their kids who meet the minimum age requirement for creating accounts on the social network. Others are looking for some safe middle ground that lets them know what their children are up to online.
With that in mind, here are seven reviews of products that help monitor young ones’ activities on Facebook.”
As Ridgecrest Summer Camps does it’s best to partner with you as parents, we want to continue to put interesting and helpful articles online for you to view at your convenience…
As bullies go digital, parents play catch-up!
“Desperate to protect their children, parents are floundering even as they scramble to catch up with the technological sophistication of the next generation…” Read More online
Although this New York Times article is fairly long, it is eye opening.
As a parent today, computers surround our children. I have a computer in my house that we are teaching our kids how to use…even as young as 4. Our children will never know a world without this powerful tool. And it is because this tool is so powerful, that we as parents need be aware of the risks that are online. We welcome you to watch this very short video that poses a few questions that may help you begin to form a plan of how to protect your own kids in your home. We at Ridgecrest Summer Camps want to continue to partner with you as you continue to do your best to raise your own kids.
We want to thank you for trusting us with your child each summer at camp. We are committed to the growth of all of our campers, even when they are back home. Therefore we want to do what we can to partner with you as parents as you love your kids through some fun, but difficult years ahead. The following Gameplan establishes the online ground rules for our home. We will display this Gameplan and update it periodically as our children grow older. Althoough this may not be perfect for every family, we believe that it is a great start to protecting your family from what is already on the internet. Unfortunately, there are people who want to hurt your kids! Let’s do what we can to proactively protect them…and teach them to protect themselves!
- We will never give out personal information such as our last name, address or phone number. We should also not give out the name of our school, our city, our siblings, our sports team or our parent’s workplace.
- We all agree to not give our passwords to anyone outside of our family. We have all agreed upon user names to use while we are on the Internet. I will not change the settings for my computer or my password without my parent’s permission.
- We all agree to limit our online time so that it doesn’t interfere with other activities. We agree to follow the time limits that our family sets and not let the Internet take time away from homework, sports, face- to-face interactions or family time.
- I will never meet an online friend in person. Just as I stay away from strangers on the street, I will be careful about strangers on the Internet. If anyone ever asks to meet with me off line, I will notify my parents immediately.
- I will tell my mom or dad right away if I come across something that makes me feel uncomfortable. If anyone uses bad language or mentions things that make me uncomfortable, I will immediately log off and tell my parents.
- I will not remain on or click on a page that says, “For Over 18 Years Only.” If this happens, I will log off and I will let my parents know. I understand that I’m only a click away from bad sites and that these pages are definitely not for kids.
- I will only download pictures and files with my parent’s permission. Some of these files may contain inappropriate pictures or dangerous viruses that could mess up our computer.
- I will not send pictures of my family or myself to anyone online. The only way that I am allowed to do this is if my parents say it is all right.
- I will be safe everywhere. I will follow the same Internet safety rules at my friends’ houses, at school and at the library that I do while I’m at home.
- I understand that nothing is private on the Internet. I agree that my mom or dad can read my mail or check the sites that I have been visiting — not because they don’t trust me but because they just want to make sure that I am safe.
*Courtesy of InternetSafety.com
We can’t stress it enough for you to make sure your family is protected while online. Ridgecrest Summer Camps isn’t endorsing any specific product, but we are dedicated to empowering you, the parent, to properly protect your child online. The experts are clear with their data, our children are targets for online predators. As a parent myself, I prefer to not be paranoid, but I also want to stay informed. Using some sort of internet filtering software helps me do that. SafeEyes is one option out there. Although it is not free, it gets excellent reviews. I encourage you to do some of your own research and see what your options are. We also encourage you to post comments below for other parents to learn from. Thanks for loving your kids so well! See you this summer!
As you know by now Ridgecrest Summer Camps has taken a step forward in partnering with you the parent as you invest in your children, point them to Jesus, and love them as they grow up in a difficult time. “This generation of parents is the first to face the challenge of helping our children make the most of their virtual space while keeping them safe in it. If you’re still getting your footing in virtual parenting, don’t worry. InternetSafety.com has the following tips to help ensure that your child’s online experience remains positive.” We don’t claim to have all the answers here at Ridgecrest Summer Camps, but we do want to help point you to some of the knowledgeable professionals regarding these touchy issues. Here are some suggestions as you protect your family online…
1. Become a net-savvy parent
The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet—read articles, take a class, and talk to other parents. A good place to start is www.websitebuilders.com. You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world.
2. “Chat” with your kids
Develop an open dialogue so that you can talk with your kids about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. Cultivate an interest in their online activities—their favorite Web sites, online games, and interests. And don’t be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about.
3. Agree on a game plan
Use the InternetSafety.com Gameplan™ to formally agree on your family’s guidelines for using the Internet. Post them near the family computer as a reminder. Ensure that your kids know to never share personal information on the Internet and that they should tell you about any online activity or contact that makes them uncomfortable.
4. Protect your computer
Take advantage of the software that exists to help parents manage their children’s computer experience. In only a few minutes, parental control software like Safe Eyes can block inappropriate websites, restrict the amount of time that your kids use the Internet and monitor their Instant Messenger chats to protect against predators.
5. Explore the Internet as a family
With a game plan and a protected computer, you can now encourage your family to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Take a genuine interest in what your kids are doing and stay engaged with them online.
I would go as far as to say that every family that has a computer in their home must have some sort of filtering strategy. As much as we may not want to admit it, our children are being aggressively pursued online. Experts say that right now there are about 1.5 million sexual predators online. We would strongly urge you to educate your self further, and take action in your home to protect your children. Here are a few resources that may help you. Please know that we are committed to helping you, and will be sure to update you as we learn of more helpful tools.
5 Internet Safety Tips – learn how to create a cyber safe home!
Internet Monitoring Family Gameplan – visit this site to learn 10 steps to protect your family.
SafeEyes – is the #1 rated internet filtering software. Visit this website to learn more. If you prefer a different product, thats great! But please make it a priority to protect your family.
10 signs of Internet Abuse – more ways you can educate yourself and proactively fight for your family.
GetNetWise.org – GetNetWise is a public service brought to you by a wide range of Internet industry corporations and public interest organizations.
Watch Video: How do I protect myself from internet predators? Is it ok for him to surf the internet unsupervised? Watch this short video to learn more about these questions, and other like them (www.iQuestions.com)
Watch Video: I believe in monitoring what my children watch on TV. But, is it possible to be too controlling? (Ted Baehr, www.iQuestions.com)
Watch Video: What are some fun ways that I can help develop my kids’ media discernment? (Ted Baehr, www.iQuestions.com)