As a parent of four, and a social media consultant I’m concerned about my kids learning to be good digital citizens. Facebook wasn’t around when I was a teen, and for that I’m somewhat grateful, but as my kids get older they will become more active online. They will have Facebook accounts, twitter accounts and eventually smartphones. I want to make sure they understand how to use their accounts, and keep an eye on what they are doing online. Over time I will allow them more freedom online, but to start i think it’s important to talk about being safe and smart online.
For my kids being a good digital citizen means:
- Signing an agreement to use their accounts and time online in a positive way.
- Not sharing their passwords with anyone other than myself and my husband.
- Allowing us to check in on their accounts and browsing history at least once a week.
- Implementing a cool down period before they post or share when they are upset.
- Notifying my husband and I immediately if they are bullied online.
- Notifying my husband and I immediately if they overreact online.
- Friending people they know on social networks.
- Not share their location via open social networks.
These are all things I can teach my kids, but I also have to make sure they put them into action. That’s where technology helps!
Safely Social Monitor
Safely Social Monitor is a new early access service that allows parents to increase awareness of what their children are doing online. Safely Social Monitor is free and allows you to monitor your child’s Facebook account.
This video from Safely will help you understand what the service is about:
Safely Social Monitor is part of a new category of services called “Familyware,” which includes other great tools like Safely Locate and Safely Drive. All the services Safely offers are meant to help parents be more aware, be better able to communicate with & guide their children as they mature. Safely also shares helpful tips and advice via Safely Spotlight (a free digital parenting guide) which will be regularly published and made available on the Safely Facebook page.
How do you sign up for Safely?
It’s a relatively simple process to sign up for Safely. You simply click here to sign up, create an account, and have login to your child’s Facebook account (with them by your side of course), and allow the app. Next you’ll get a report sharing stats and data about your child’s Facebook account.
Since none of my children have a Facebook account yet, I used my own for demonstration purposes. I clicked the link, created an account after reading the terms, and then shared my Facebook account’s info. After that I was taken directly to Facebook to allow the app for my account, and then my report was prepared.
After you allow the app, you’ll see Safely is preparing a report. This can take a few minutes.
This is the overall summary including my score. I get a C- in mutual friends and number of friends because I use my account differently than a typical facebook user.
Safely was easy for me to set up. It gave me relevant info about my account, my top friends, showed my recent photos, interests and my latest activity. The report (and email that included the report) were easy to read, and shared enough data so I could see what I was doing on Facebook in one place.
I will definitely be using Safely when my kids set up their own Facebook accounts. I think I’m just around the corner from that with my 13 year old and it’s probably best to start with this system in place so your kids are aware that you will be monitoring their accounts online.
Would you consider use Safely for your kids’ accounts? Do you have any guidelines that your kids follow online?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Safely, all opinions are my own.