Seven out of ten kids do not tell their parents or guardians about what they do online unless asked. Trust and communication are good things. Unfortunately, however, even smart, good kids do stupid things. And in many cases, as smart as kids are about technology and the Internet, they don‘t have enough information about the risks and consequences to make good decisions. And that can be disastrous.
There is also a fear among parents of violating their kid‘s privacy. But on some level, isn‘t paying attention to things children may want to keep private part of a parent‘s job? If we are too afraid to intrude, we miss opportunities to discuss important issues facing our kids.
We would never let our kids run free in a real-world place that had everything the Internet has to offer. We can‘t afford to do it in the virtual world, either. And although kids may not like it, we must take steps to ensure that our kids are adequately protected.
The bottom line is that protecting our minor children online is a parent‘s right and responsibility. Talk to your kids today and ask about what they are doing online.
Bob Kessinger, CyberPatrol
Bob is the co-author of Surfing Among the Cyber Sharks: Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children and Teens from Online Risk