A few days ago Kathleen Morris posted 10 Internet Safety Tips for Parents. If you’re a parent, or even if you’re not, it’s worth a read. I love that she started the list with this:
“1. Don’t let potential problems stop you from letting your child use technology for their education and personal interests.”
While it’s wise to be cautious, I think some parents (and schools) can’t see far enough past the potential pitfalls to notice what benefits they might be missing out on. Those benefits are growing by the day. And it doesn’t take too much work to find guidelines, tips, and/or rules (like Kathleen’s) that greatly decrease the risk of any problems.
I also like that she included a warning not to share your plans publicly. Most of the safety tips I’ve read warm against sharing information like full names, birthdays, etc. but fail to point out the dangers of letting the rest of the world know where you’re going and when. I think most teenagers can wrap their heads around the former, but don’t fully understand the latter — after all, isn’t that the whole point of social media in the first place? Not sharing sensitive information is a matter or changing your security settings. Not sharing your weekend plans is a matter of changing your habits.
The best part of all? Most of her tips can be accomplished just be being a good parent.