I think as parents we want to believe that our kids are thinking like kids and wanting to play games to keep their minds active and busy. You don’t think about giving your kids permission to sign into chat rooms and sending pictures. You think of the innocence of a child.
But unfortunately, there are creeps out there that know where these kids hangout and what teen girls like to hear. I even had a mom tell me her daughter was on her PS3 playing a game and a complete stranger starts asking her questions how old she is and if she’s still a (V). And the guy asked her if she would send him a picture of herself? The mom was shocked. Then the guy started private messaging her daughter. She said she reported it to the local police. This all happened because her daughter was playing a group game with gamers.
For me, it wasn’t until I took their cell phones and started doing updates and saw things. I saw apps secretly being used and a flash of data across my eyes that I wished I had never seen, but glad at the same time that I caught it in time.
I know as parents that we want to think that we can trust our children, but some of us have those kids that push trust to the limits with no boundaries. To these parents who really want to know what your kids are doing online and who they’re talking to. I say get connected with Teensafe.com. It runs $14.95 a month. You sign in with your child’s apple ID. I created Apple ID’s for my kids with my name showing above theirs so Apple would know this is a child in case they call and try to make changes.
I never gave them the password and when they were grounded I had smart limits through AT&T to allow them to call home and us on our cell phones. I never thought of grounding one of them and then her using another kid’s Apple ID and password to bypass the restrictions. Yes, your teen can use a friend’s Apple ID and password and their phone isn’t restricted anymore. Pay close attention to the Apple ID. Make sure that their ID is always visible. You can go into preferences in ITunes and setup boundaries turning off access to ITunes and set the restrictions stricter.
You want to make it where your child cannot be able to use another kid’s Apple ID and password. If you don’t monitor your child’s phone you need to turn off access to Wi-fi. If Wi-fi is on it automatically hooks up with the nearest Wi-fi. Anymore some restaurants and even McDonalds have a Wi-fi hookup and the local library. If you don’t have internet access at home your kid has access to Wi-fi at school, library and McDonalds. They can also connect to Wi-fi at a friend’s house when they’re at a sleepover. And before you know it they’re on some of the hot teen sites such as Snapchat and Kik Texts. These are both sights that allow indecent pictures to be sent.
Also be aware that if your child is going to a public school that they more than likely were issued a Gmail acct. through the school. This email address usually starts with the year they graduate and their first and middle initial and the school that they attend. You can ask your child if they’ve been issued a private email address through their school. I have seen and witnessed kids using these email addresses to create profiles on Face Book, Instagram and Pandora. The list goes on and on. The only thing a kid needs to create a profile on any website is and email address and the public schools are issuing them faster than parents can blink.
Our daughter opened a Face Book acct. with her school email address and had a Face Book acct for six months before we noticed using and alias name. It’s not uncommon for kids to use different names when they’re going behind your back.
The best thing we can do as parents is to stay informed and try to keep updated with today’s technology. I really believe if parents can’t afford to pay the extra for surveillance on their teens that they shouldn’t have any type of smart phone.
FBI - Parent Guide to Internet Safety
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Restrictions – ON
Face Time OFF
Installing Apps OFF
Deleting Apps OFF
Purchasing Apps OFF
Always know your child’s passcode to their phone for quick and easy access.
Setup an iCloud acct to monitor internet behavior.
If not monitoring your child’s activity online turn off the WIFI and Blue