Tuesday, November 20, 2018, Felicity Franklin PTO hosted Cyber Safety Awareness expert Stephen J. Smith. Mr. Smith retired from Cincinnati Bell and is spending his retirement talking to kids, parents, and schools about technology and social media.
One of the most important topics discussed at the meeting was the importance of Parental Controls. You as a parent can research which option is best for you but a few mentioned were:
- Teen Safe
- Google Family Link
- Apple Family Sharing
- UKnow Kids
In addition to the parental control apps mentioned above, you can also protect your child by not allowing them to have their phone in their rooms or the bathroom. Most irresponsible decisions made by teens/preteens regarding their cell phones happen in their bedroom or bathroom, so go ahead and purchase your child an old fashion alarm clock and have a charging station out in the living room for all cell phones.
Mr. Smith discussed the importance of your child turning off the “Location Finder” on their phone. Although some apps like Google Maps need to know your location, most apps do not need this feature turned on and in fact are putting your child in danger by having this feature activated. On some phones, you may have the ability to turn off the Location finder feature on all apps all together at once, or you may need to open each App one at a time on that child’s phone and turn off the location finder feature. Predators are using this feature to find your child’s location putting them at risk every time they post and/or use that app.
If you have a child that loves Gaming (like the hit video game Fortnite), you need to educate yourself on TWITCH (the epicenter of video gaming). Twitch is a platform that lets you watch other people play video games as well as broadcast your own gameplay to the world.
- While Twitch has milder games such as Minecraft, many are for mature audiences.
- Many commentators use mature language
- The site runs lots of advertising so you will see mature movie and game ads.
- There is no time delay with live-streaming, so what gamers say and do goes out immediately, making content unpredictable.
- Twitch costs can add up. You can watch for free or sign up for a free account with features such as chatting. A turbo account which can eliminate ads will cost you a fee per month. Each subscription to an individual broadcaster costs money.
- There is an “In Real Life (IRL)” section which is typically for people to hang out and interact with the streamer and other viewers. Be warned, this section is typically where viewers donate to see the streamer do things for money.
For More Information:
Mr. Smith has a website www.awiredfamily.org and/or you can follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/awiredfamily, or on Twitter @awiredfamily. He has also written a book called Social Media- Your Childs Digital Tattoo.
On his website you will find many great informative videos including the following highly recommended videos:
- Social Media & Teen Depression
- The Impact of Sexualized Media on Children
- Teens & Pornography
- Your Child & Twitch
- Virtual Reality & Porn