Saturday, May 5, 2012

Parenting Pointers: Social Media

The rise in popularity of social networks has reached younger and younger kids. Studies have shown that tweens and teens often don't have fully-formed decision-making skills and can't predict the ramifications of an "innocent" joke or post on a profile. Kids can also get into trouble playing online games, and cyberbullying is a growing problem.

Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to help protect their kids. It begins with awareness - knowing what sites your kids are on, and what they're doing. Communication is also key. Let your kids know why certain things shouldn't be posted, and what they should do if something makes them uncomfortable or just doesn't seem right. has a variety of Internet Safety tips for Kids on everything from gaming to social networking, sexting to cyberbullying, and more. They also provide social network monitoring and the service uKnowSearch, which enables any parent with a uKnowKids account to search twelve of the top social networking sites used by tweens and teens to identify profiles, both hidden and public, that may belong to their child. Sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare and YouTube as well as popular photo sharing and social music sites and social gaming properties like Xbox LIVE. You can get the Essentials service for free, and a free trial of the Premier service as well.

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