Think About It: Every parent wants to make sure their child is equipped with tools of technology for academic success. Apple has done a fabulous job of advocating for the use of iPads in almost every educational setting. The unfortunate downside to Apple’s campaign is the lack of meaningful security features the iPad provides. Apple Support recommends turning off Safari as an option for parental safety control. The message from Apple indicates that ensuring internet safety for a child is and always should be a parents responsibility.
In The Classroom: Students of all ages (parents too) often request help logging onto the internet while at school. This type of interaction provides me an opportunity to communicate and demonstrate how most interactive apps lead to unintentional socialization with “Frangers”…friends in the game - but strangers in real time. The app Clash of Clans is a perfect example of the “Franger Danger” many parents unknowingly support. I encourage every parent to ask their child about what they know regarding this app.
To My Surprise: The need for parents and teachers to actively research and understand the multiple access points electronic devices provide for their children to discover people, content and unrestricted exposure to virtual environments is vital for internet safety. Parents who help their children understand the logic of waiting to vote, drive, and consume alcohol based on a specific level of maturity should easily correlate this same type of need for discipline and maturity to make wise decisions regarding internet activity on their devices. Having children turn in their electronic devices at bedtime, sharing all passwords and accounts, and having kids limit the amount of apps on their devices would be a great starting point for addressing internet safety concerns.