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When an App Gets a Bad Name

When an App Gets a Bad Name

In an effort to stay as current as possible, I subscribe to a lot of websites and newsletters from other experts. One great site is cyberwise – I love their tag line “No Grownup Left Behind”!
They ran an article this week, originally written by Dana Graber of the Huffington Post, on how to handle teens and youth who are using apps we hear are BAD. The apps they site are troublesome, but the real issue is what our children do with these apps. I would check out the whole article, but here is some great advice, in their words!

These three simple rules will keep kids safer than any filtering software or device:

1. Know thy “enemy.” A good rule of thumb is to get to know the “apps” your kids are using. The first thing you’ll learn when signing up is that nearly all restrict membership to those who are at least 13 years of age. In addition, most also ban obscene, vulgar, and abusive chatter.

2. “Friend” or “follow” your child. Presumably you know where your child goes to school and who their closest friends are, right? There is absolutely no reason not to know this same information when kids go online. In fact, these “apps” and social media in general can be a parent’s best friend by revealing a wealth of information about whom they are interacting with and what they are talking about, so take advantage!

3. Know their passwords. Make it a rule of thumb to know your child’s passwords. Sure, there may be some pushback on this, but if you pay the mobile phone bill, technically, that phone is yours and knowing how to access their account is a smart safety measure. It’s also a chance for you both learn how to make and manage safe and strong passwords.

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