Tips for Parents in the Digital World

Are you feeling a few steps behind your digitially savvy child? Are you concerning about your child's safety in the virtual world?

Would like to learn tech tips to embrace digital education? We believes in keeping up with the latest technology, while also keeping our family safe from the digital traps. Together, we can empower our children and us to use the power of the Internet and digital technology in the safer ways both at school and home!

Smartphone Picture Pose Privacy Risks

Do you know that the pictures you have uploaded, sent, or posted from your smartphone could leak information that can treaten your and your children's safety?

NBC Action News reported, "The full risk is even an unknown to many internet crime experts, like Chudik, who said he'd never seen private information shared so quickly in such an unknown manner."

How it works?
"The easily-obtained software can translate geotagged photos, uploaded or linked from popular websites, into maps."

How to deactivate your geotagging?
"The site icanstalku.com reposts pictures from unwitting Twitter users in real time, translating their photos into actual addresses and maps. The site also lists a 'how to deactivate geotagging' on iPhone, Blackberry with GPS, Google Android, and Palm WebOS. The site recommends restricting which applications can access GPS marking, or turning off location services altogether, in your smartphone settings."

"Experts say you can still be perfectly safe by turning off GPS settings before taking pictures you plan to post online and by keeping your online photo servers restricted to private."

Secure Login Using SSL

Before you enter your username & password to login to a site, do you see the 'https', the 'lock' and the 'green address bars'?

If not, an attacker can see your username & password in plain text.

What are the risks?
If an attacker can easily view your username & password, he can impersonate you, and do massive damage by purchasing online, transferring money, reading your emails, etc. With some people often use the same password for all or most of their user accounts on different websites, an attacker can do far more dangerous damages to those users.

Start a habit to access login page using 'https', and bookmark the 'https' homepage.

Tips from CDC [Centers of Disease Control & Prevention]

Talk to your child go on the Internet just like when they leave the house -- where are they going and who are they with?

Develop rules with your child about acceptable & safe behaviors for all electronic media.

Explore the Internet your child frequents visits, and assess the pros & cons. Most websites & online activities are beneficial. They help young people learn new information and interact with people who have similar interests.

Talk with other parents about how they have discussed technology use with their children.

Connect with school to develop a class for parents that educates about school policies on electronic aggression & resources available to parents.

Educate yourself to stay informed about the new devices & websites your child is using. Continually talk with your child & explore the technology yourself.

Tips from U.S. News Education

Show & Tell: If your child is using a device, program, or website you aren't familiar with, have them 'teach' you how it works.

Google It: Get online. Google your child's name. Google your family name. See what's out there. Be especially aware that what you or your child post on the Internet is permanent, and poor online decisions can have severe consequences.

Keep Tech Public: If your children's computers are in their bedrooms, you should move them. What your children are doing on the computer should be public as well. Parents should "friend" their students on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, and know who their online friends are.

Beyond keeping technology in an open space, parents should check the browser history so they know what sites their children are visiting.

Get Excited: Computers, tablets, and smartphones bring students out of their shells and open up exciting new avenues for learning.

Parents can overcome their own digital insecurities by talking to other parents and engaging with their child's teachers. Send the teachers a quick E-mail and ask how they use technology in their classrooms - you might be surprised what you hear back.

Some teachers maintain class websites and blog about what the students learned in school that day. "It's a wonderful bonus from technology. You can, in very real time, obtain your child's progress," says Landers, president of the National PTA. "It's a part of being really engaged in your child's education."