We live in a time where the digital medium is really happening. You have everything from social platforms to professional sites and commercial data available online today. With the increasing popularity and use of such mediums, there has also been an influx of what is called cybercrime in the US.
What is unfortunate is that is not just adults but also teens and young people that at times become involved in online activities that can be classified as cyber crimes. On occasion this is deliberate but for the most part it is simply the result of a lack of guidance and vigilance on the part of the parents.
How Do I keep my Teens Safe?
Apart from worrying for the safety of your own children, you may also be concerned with keeping your teenage offspring clear of any untoward or risky online activity. There are a few ways you could go about this.
The first thing you do as a parent is educating your child regarding what is acceptable and unacceptable online behavior. Explain to them about what is okay and what isn’t. Talk to them about cyber bullying, online theft, property infringement and other activities that they may unknowingly take part in.
The more you speak to, teach and educate your teens the safer you keep them invariably.
Though this might sound a little harsh, there is no harm in spot checking the online activity of your teens from time to time. Check in on the browser history without warning, ask them what they are doing online at random and check on the sites and locations they are visiting online.
Though your teens might find this annoying, an angry teen at home is better than a legally incriminated one.
Monitoring and Staying Informed
Spot checks can sometimes backfire as children see that as nagging or too much control. Luckily there are ways to monitor your teens and stay informed regarding their actions without getting in their way.
One method is to install parental monitoring software on all the devices within the home. The problem with this, however, is if your teens are tech savvy enough, they may figure out ways to disable such programs.
Another even better method is looking into available phone spy apps that can be used on both Android and iPhone systems. Such apps can be installed remotely without your children finding out. Further, they update you on the minute to minute activity conducted over the target device.
Given teens conduct the bulk of their online engagements using phones, such apps are brilliant if you want to stay informed and in the loop regarding your teen’s online behavior.
Firm but not Rigid
You may find after installing such spy apps that your teens are partaking in unsafe online behavior. The thing is, when it comes to teens, too much rigidity tends to put them off. The result of being too rigid is usually them trying to do exactly what you asked them not to. In order to avoid this, try not to be too rigid. Give them the room to explore and try not to squash them too much with restrictions.
This is not to say you need to slack off completely. Raising a teen involves finding a balance and though rigidity is discouraged, there are times you will need to be firm. If you do find your child is partaking in undesirable online behavior, do not tiptoe around the problem. Clearly explain why the behavior is wrong, convey the message that it won’t be tolerated and elaborate on possible consequences. This should deter your teens from future mishaps.
Keeping our teenagers safe from harm is extremely important but it is also important to make sure that they do not harm or hurt others. Following the steps above will simply help ensure that everyone involved is protected. It also ensures that if your teens do make a bad decision, you’ll be able to address the problem before it becomes a legal issue!