Social Media Roundup - 5 tips to protect military children online


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The Internet and social media have become part most children's everyday life. Although the internet and social media are a gateway for learning and communication, they can also be a gateway to trouble. In honor of Military Family Appreciation Month, this Social Media Roundup will give you five tips to help protect our military children from online risks.

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Social Media Roundup - 5 tips to protect military children online

  1. 1. Social Media Roundup 5 Tips to Protect Military Children Online
  2. 2. Agenda The Internet and social media have become part most children's everyday life. In the U.S., 95% of schools are now connected to the Internet . A study from American Academy of Pediatrics found that 22%of teenagers log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day, and that 75% own cell phones. Although the internet and social media are a gateway for learning and communication, they can also be a gateway to trouble.        Just the stats Set the conditions Get up to speed Have the talk Enforce the rules Be vigilant Resources
  3. 3. Just The Stats… • An estimated 20% of parents do not supervise their children's Internet use at all • Close to 62% of teens say their parents know little or nothing about the websites they visit • Some 71% of parents stop supervising Internet use by their children after the age of 14, yet 72% of all Internet-related missing children cases involve children who are 15 years of age or older • Over 75% of Internet crimes involving sexual solicitations of children and exposure to unwanted pornography is not reported to police or parents
  4. 4. Tip #1: Set the conditions…  Place your computer in a common area of the house. - The mere presence of parents can have a tremendous effect on a child's online activities. - It's much more difficult for a computer sex offender to communicate with a child when the computer screen is visible to a parent or other member of the household.  Utilize your Internet Service Provider's parental controls and commercial blocking and filtering software tools. - Monitors show a history of use so you can see where your child has been on the Internet. - Filters block access to objectionable material.
  5. 5. Tip #2: Get Up to Speed…  Educate yourself about computers, the Internet and Social Media. - You need to know how to use the Internet and Social Media in order to know what your children are doing on it. - Take a basic computer class or buy a book about the Internet. - Check with your ISP (Internet Service Provider) for information on using all of their services  Spend time with your children online. - Ask your children how they use the Internet and have them teach you about their favorite destinations. Make "surfing the Net" a family experience. - Just as you look for good television programs for your children, take the time to find the best and most useful websites for them.
  6. 6. Tip #3: Have the talk…  Educate your child about the dangers of the Internet - Teach your children about sexual victimization and other potential dangers of the Internet and Social Media. Talk openly and honestly with your children about what they are doing on the Net and what your concerns are.  Develop a "contract" with your children about their Internet use. - You may want to develop an agreement or "contract" with your children about their use of the Internet. A pledge from your children to follow certain rules on the Internet may develop trust.  Reinforce the guiding rule, "Don't talk to strangers." - Tell your children what they are told online may, or may not, be true. No matter how much their online "buddies" seem like friends who share interests, they are still strangers. Remember, cyber-molesters pretend to be children.  Emphasize protecting any personal information - Children should never give out their name, home address, telephone number or school name. They should also never put out information about a deployed parent or their unit.
  7. 7. Tip #4: Enforce the rules…  Make reasonable rules and set time and use limits. - You should set guidelines about what your children can and cannot do on the Internet. Try to understand their needs, interest and curiosity. But, you must set limits on when they may use the Internet and for how long.  Put accounts in your name and know your child's passwords. - The Internet account and primary screen name should be in your name, not your children's names. It's also a good idea to know your children's passwords and let them know you will check their online activity.  Do not let your child download or upload pictures without your permission. - Predators will often send photographs or visuals to children as part of a grooming process to gain trust. Some of the photographs may be pornographic or even involve child pornography.
  8. 8. Tip #5: Be vigilant…  Be aware of other computers and screen names your children could be using. - Your children probably use computers at the library, school or friends' houses. Watch for your child using an online account belonging to someone else in order to bypass filters or monitors on your computer.  Be sensitive to changes in your children's behaviors that may indicate they are being victimized. - If victimized online, children may become withdrawn from their families or secretive about their activities. Computer sex offenders work very hard at driving a wedge between children and their parents.  Review the use histories or logs of your computer to see where your children have been. - By clicking on Windows Explorer and checking such files as Cookies, Temp History, Internet History or Cache files, you can see what your children have been doing online.
  9. 9. Resources…  Here’s a list of resources to help you in protecting & educating your children. Getting Started (try sites centered on children): Fun Links: Fun and Games in Teaching Online Safety: Getting Started on the Internet (learning how to use it):  Review Safe Sites for Children at: Additional Information on Cyber Ethics and Safety Issues: Information on Cyber Crimes: Samples of Contracts between Parents and Children: Yahoo parents page Comparisons of Filters/Monitors: This list is not comprehensive and does not constitute an Army promotion or endorsement of any website or product.
  10. 10. Contact information Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to us at the Online and Social Media Division Email: To review and download past editions of the Social Media Roundup, visit our Slideshare site at: All Social Media Roundups are authorized to be distributed to a broader audience. 11/01/2013 OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS PENTAGON