I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
This week, Rosie's phone wouldn't charge. Then it wouldn't turn off. So we headed to the Apple store to get it replaced.
“Are you ready to erase all the data on your phone?” the Genius Bar guy said to Rosie? “Put in your pass code.” She did and he slid the phone over to me.
“Now, put in the restrictions pass code.” I slid the phone back to Rosie and she entered the digits.
“You know the restrictions pass code?”he asked my teen? “How old are you?”
“I'm fourteen,” she said. “And, my mom knows my codes and checks my phone all the time, so yes.”
The restrictions pass code is an amazing feature on an IPhone. You can limit the time your teen spends on their phone, block applications and set content ratings. I highly encourage parents to use it, however, since my teen and I have had multiple discussions on how to be #CyberSafe, we don't use it. We do however have open conversations about internet usage, what's appropriate and cyberbullying because these kids are on their phones all the time (even at dance). However, I realize that there are lots of parents out there that aren't as internet savvy as me.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Sprint are committed to keeping kids safe online. June is Internet Safety Month and they're asking parents to submit their top questions about issues facing kids online. You can submit questions about cyberbullying, social networking, online privacy- any topic you like to a panel of teen's and get their perspective. The feel that every teen deserves a #CyberSafe future.
I checked out the site this morning and took the CyberSmart Parent Quiz. Turns out, I know a lot about Cyber Safety. I'm friends with my teen on social networks which is a good thing because I have seen instances of cyberbullying in the past. We followed the age rules when she signed up for social networking sites and talked in-depth about sexting, sexual predators and other harmful activity. The only thing I hadn't done, was Google her, so I did.
There weren't any surprises. Our Go Fund Me page, dance competition results and her social media accounts popped up on the first page. So did some of my blogs. I highly encourage all parents to Google their kids so there aren't any surprises. I also urge everyone to buy their child's name so you own the url.
Our kids spend a lot of time online and it's our job as parents to educate them. If you're not as savvy as your teen, pop on the Boys & Girls Clubs of America site and ask the panel of BCGA Cyber Ambassador's a question about cyberbullying, social networking or other online-related issues. Once you hit submit, you'll be given the chance to enter the CyberSafe Futures Giveaway and be entered to win one of three iPad minis and $500 to the BCGA club of your choice.
As for us, our trip to the Apple Store gave us an opportunity to talk about internet safety once again. Like most teens, Rosie spends a lot of time on her phone on social networking sites and lately on You Tube checking out dance videos while she tries to figure out a song for her solo next year. She needs to be able to recognize what's appropriate for her age to watch and what's not. She also needs to know when to back away from the phone if she feels she's being bullied.
How are you keeping your child #CyberSafe?