Keeping Your Teen Safe on the Internet

When teens use technology, it can be scary for parents not to know what they’re looking at, who they’re talking to, or what they’re learning. Luckily, there are ways to guide your teen in the right direction. Many gadgets, websites, and apps have parental controls and privacy settings that can make them safer or more age-appropriate for teen users. However, nothing can replace the positive impact of open and honest conversation between parents and teens. Take a look below for some useful tips on how to set parental controls and how to have conversations with your teens about responsible technology use.

  • Setting Parental Controls
    • Go into the settings menu and look for the key terms below. They will help you keep gadgets, websites, and apps safe for your family.
      • Parental Controls
      • Privacy Settings
      • Restrictions
    • Once you are in the settings menu, you will be able to set restrictions on who can see profiles, which websites can be visited, and in-app purchases, among  others. Some apps and devices even allow you to restrict how many hours they can be used during the day.
  • Conversation Tips
    • Make sure you let your kids know that you’re open to conversation about both the positive and negative aspects of technology use.
    • Do your research – try to find out the latest apps and websites that kids are visiting, then bring them up in conversation with your kids.
    • Explain why parental controls are important and make sure they don’t feel like you’re violating their privacy. If they understand why you’re doing it, they will probably be more likely to follow your rules.

Teens live in a fast-paced world where the decisions they make can follow them for a long time. Talking about how to make safe and healthy decisions about their online presence ahead of time can have a major impact on their future.