Internet Safety Resources for Families
Summer is an excellent time to discuss Internet safety as a family.
Such discussions can help prepare our children for the inevitable technological leap their upcoming school year will trigger and reinforce good media habits during unstructured summer hours.
It is important to remember that Internet safety does not happen by accident. Layered discussions, positive modelling of healthy media use (including media-free time) and deliberate action steps make a big difference.
Here are some of my favorite resources for parents, grandparents and caregivers who are motivated to promote healthy media use in their home:
CLEAN & SAFE MEDIA PLEDGE FOR FAMILIES: Discussing and signing a media pledge as a family can be a highly effective way to clarify family values related to media use. Posting the signed pledge in a visible area of your home can serve as an ongoing reminder of how your family has decided to use media and why.
EDUCATE EMPOWER KIDS: This group has produced dozens of practical and thought-provoking resources related to Internet safety, pornography, and healthy sexuality. Their 30 Days of Sex Talks series is a staple in my own home, and I especially like their Five Ways to Teach Your Child Empathy lesson.
SMARTER PARENTING: This site is a parenting goldmine! It provides dozens of lessons, videos, free printables and ideas for anyone wanting to be a more effective parent. Internet safety is one of many aspects of ‘smart parenting’ in today’s world, so anything that helps us become more effective parents can helps us better tackle Internet and media issues. This site is the source of the B.O.R.E.D., S.O.D.A.S. and Communication Ball handouts I regularly refer to at Internet safety workshops.
CULTURE REFRAMED PARENTS PROGRAM: Released in the spring of 2018, this free program provides parents with research-driven information to help arm their children with strategies for preventing, resisting and healing the harms of pornography and a hypersexualized pop culture.
FBI’S GUIDE TO PROTECTING YOUR KIDS: The FBI provides an excellent online resource for parents interested in protecting their children from a wide range of threats, including abduction, drug use, online predators, cybercrime, social networking sites, and sex offenders. It also includes links to the FBI’s Child ID App.
COMMON SENSE MEDIA: This group is the leading independent nonprofit organization providing unbiased information and ratings for movies, video games, books, TV shows, apps and YouTube programs. This site helps families “harness the power of media and technology as a positive force in all kids’ lives.”
NET NANNY: Net Nanny has long created one of the top-rated filtering and monitoring software programs on the market.
COVENANT EYES: Covenant Eyes is a popular filtering and accountability program. They also provide an impressive array of free resources and e-books pertaining to overcoming pornography problems, including some content for partners of sex addicts.
ROUTER LIMITS: A cloud-based router filtering and device management program that provides protection for all internet-enabled devices and not just computers (e.g., smart TVs, phones, gaming consoles, etc.).
DISNEY CIRCLE ROUTER FILTER: A popular router filtering and device management program. Use promo code “MANNING” to receive 10% off your purchase (Dr. Manning does not receive any financial remuneration or benefit from this promo code being used).
“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”
~ Bill Gates
What kind of citizens do you and your family members want to be in this digital global village?
Start the conversation today.