Your Kids Online • 21 million teens - 87% of youth ages 12-17 -are online. • 89% send or read e-mails • 84% search the Web for fun • 81% play online games • 75% use instant messaging • 43% purchase items online Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/162/report_display.asp)
Your Kids Online • Of the 21 million teens who are online, 51% go online at least once a day • Girls use e-mail more than boys: 93% versus 84% • Girls also use IM more, but the difference isn't as drastic: 77% versus 74% Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/162/report_display.asp)
Your Kids Online The size of the wired teen population surges at the 7th grade mark. • 60% of 6th graders use the Internet • By 7th grade, 82% use it • The percent increases each year until it tops out at 94% of 11th and 12th graders Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/162/report_display.asp)
Parents and Kids Online • 64% of parents say they have Internet rules • 37% of teens say they have rules Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/162/report_display.asp)
Parents and Kids Online • 62% of parents report checking on what sites kids visit • 33% of teens say their parents check on their activities online Pew Internet & American Life Project, Protecting Teens Online, March 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/152/report_display.asp)
Parents and Kids Online • 54% of parents use Internet filters • 62% of parents AND 62% of teens say they believe most teens do things online they'd rather their parents not see Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, July 2005 (http://www.pewinternet.org/PDF/r/162/report_display.asp)
A Little Context for Parents • 3000 years between first alphabet and first newspaper • 15 years between first Web Browser and today • Kids are earliest adopters—often know more than parents • It’s not just the computer anymore
What We Know • It is about your child, not technology • Tech tools and tips can help, but they’re not failsafe • Your job is to equip kids with knowledge and build toward independence
Every Family is Different • Kids’ ages • Gender/s • Temperament • Computer Comfort and Savvy • Values
What Parents Want • Safety • Enrichment • Balance with other aspects of life • Skills, Special Interests • Fun
What Worries Parents • Strangers/predators • Privacy and Reputation • Cyber-bullying • Inappropriate Content • Undesirable behavior reinforced
Golden Rules for Parents • Keep Internet in public space as much as possible. • Spend “cybertime” with your child. • Teach Internet rules & consequences—Parent your values online. • Limit time—keep kids busy beyond screens. • Talk to your child about what they are doing. • Stay involved.
Golden Rules to Teach • Rules from “real” life apply: courtesy, kindness, modesty, dignity, respect for the law and for others, etc. • Don’t talk to strangers. • Keep your private information private. • Never agree to meet an online friend without your parents. • There are no guarantees that what you say or post on the Internet is private.
Golden Rules • Information, including photos, videos, etc, posted on the Internet can last forever. • Tell your parents if you encounter something uncomfortable. • Don’t reply to unknown screen names on IM. • Never open e-mail from strangers or click on any attachments. • Find the “good” online – good friends, good Web sites, good games – and enjoy.
Instant Messaging • One-on-one chat • On all the time • Free, instant download • Can be accessed on any computer • Groups of friends can “chat” • Share pictures or music
IM Risks • Strangers can contact your kids • It’s hard to monitor • Kids spend too much time on it • Online Profiles that are searchable • Trouble with peers/school • Cyber-bullying • Spam
IM Parent Tips • Check screen names and profile and discuss good choices • Know your child’s password • Use parental controls and other settings and preferences • Stay involved/talk to other parents • Use log feature with child
Blogs & Social Networks • Myspace, Xanga, Facebook • Fun for kids to talk about with friends • Show off pictures • Identity tool • “Like working on a yearbook”
Blogs & Social Network Risks • Strangers • Privacy issues, such as photo distribution • Risks to reputation
Blogs & Social Networks Tips • Limit blogs • Create a blog with your teen, making sure no personal information is online and discussing content • Discourage the posting of any photos—they can be copied and used by anyone • Make sure they know you’ll be one of their “friends”
Chat • Many participants “talking” at same time • All participants see each message • Monitored & unmonitored • Free and easy to access • Feels anonymous
Chat Risks • Higher risk child will reveal identification that can personally identify him/her • Chat rooms and “one-on-one” conversation flow easily—to offline private space • Unmonitored chat can have language and sexual content • Predators
Chat Tips • Don’t allow chat rooms • Only allow buddy chat • Only allow chat in moderated environment • Teach your children not to give out any personal information • Teach your child to never meet new online friends offline without parent or adult • Set rules and monitor carefully
E-mail • Electronic Mail • Message sent from one address to another • Can include pictures, sound, video, or text attachments • Software or Web-based
E-mail Risks • Spam (junk mail) • Not private: Can easily be distributed to “whole world” • Computer viruses • Bullying • School or social trouble
E-mail Tips • Have different accounts for different levels of privacy • Teach children to do the following: • Protect passwords • Guard personal information • Never open e-mails or attachments from an unknown person • Delete chain letters • Remember that e-mail can be shared widely
Action Steps • Sit with you kid this week and have them show you what they’re doing and how it works • Learn the settings of the software tools you have or check www.getnetwise.org for recommendations • Visit www.netfamilynews.org and www.commonsensemedia.org and bookmark them for ongoing parent information
Last Word • The most important software is the one between your child’s ears.
Good Resources • www.netfamilynews.org Quality and current “nonprofit news service for “kid-tech news”. Based on the premise that informal, engaged parenting is essential to kids’ constructive use of technology and the Net.” • www.pbs.org/parents/growingwithmedia Provides information on how media “can shape your child’s development and what you can do to create a media-literate household.” • www.safekids.com Provides a “guide to making the Internet and Technology fun, safe, and productive.” • www.besafeonline.org Advice and information about Internet safety for parents and teachers, plus opportunities to discuss problems and share solutions.
Good Resources • www.getnetwise.org GetNetWise is a public service created by Internet industry corporations and public interest groups with the goal of having “Internet users be only "one click away" from the resources they need to make informed decisions about their and their family's use of the Internet.” • www.netsmartz.org Created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, “ the NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational safety resource to teach kids and teens how to stay safer on the Internet.” • www.kids.us kids.us is an Internet domain where “affiliated sites are regularly screened and monitored” so that “parents and children can trust the sites to provide educational and appropriate online fun.”
Good Resources • www.commonsensemedia.org Provides family friendly reviews of media (TV, film, music, Web sites, games, and books) and parent tips on “healthy media diets” for families. • www.netmom.org Run by the author of Net-mom's Internet Kids & Family Yellow Pages, a family-friendly directory to 3,500 of the best children's resources the Internet has to offer, this site highlights good sites for kids and provides safety tips for parents.
This presentation was prepared by The Children’s Partnership www.childrenspartnership.org Last updated February 9, 2006