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Protect your kids from the dangers that lurk online by understanding what your kids are doing and why they're doing it.

Parents need to protect their kids from the dangers that lurk online by understanding what their teens are doing and why they’re doing it.

Be Aware That Certain Apps Exist to Hide Online Activity

Kids are smart and they can hide the truth of their online activity by using certain apps like a hidden door. Parents can put an alert in the settings of the teen’s phone or computer that tells them any app they try to download. Then, parents can Google the app to find out what it is and why they want it.

The Rule in Social Media: Attention Equals Value

It’s all about the number of likes and how many followers a person has. Teenagers are being programmed to think that they need to do outrageous things to garner more attention which translates into more followers or likes. They do it to have greater value among their peers.

Be Vigilant in Checking Devices

Parents shouldn’t feel bad about monitoring their teens. It is a parent’s responsibility to protect their kids from danger. Online activity can be dangerous. Be vigilant and aware. Most teens don’t pay for their phone, parents do. Parents have a right to do whatever they want with the phone they bought and pay for.

Your Teens’ Online Presence Is Building Their “Brand”

Whatever teenagers post online says something about who they are and what they value. Future employers or educational institutions can check into their online activity to assess their character. Parents need to help their teens have the long view of social media and technology activity. What they do now can have future consequences.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. On a scale from 1-10, how savvy are you with social media and technology? What do you need to do to educate yourself more?
  3. How often do you currently monitor your kid’s devices? Explain.
  4. Why is it important to talk to your kids about their online “brand”? List some possible future consequences if their “brand” isn’t good.
  5. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
Adapted from the Christian Broadcasting Network.