- By supernovamommy
- 4 July, 2012
- Comments Off
Cox Take Charge: Internet Safety Event with America’s Most Wanted John Walsh and Leticia Barr of Tech Savvy Mama
I was honored to be invited to the “Cox Take Charge” event at the National Press Club in D.C. last week and watched in awe as the incredible Leticia Barr and John Walsh answered audience and viewer questions about keeping kids’ safe online.
My children are young, 3 and 5, and it’s sad to admit that I am what John Walsh referred to as a “dinosaur” when it comes to child internet saftey. I had it in my head that when my kids are older, I would keep the computer in a common place to monitor their internet activity, but this is not enough. There are so many mobile devices that have internet, like the ipod touch.
Walsh believes that mandatory internet safety lessons should be part of the national school curriculum, and I agree with him. We also need to have conversations with our kids. Identity theft is a real issue. Parents need to realize if their teenager engages in a sketchy online purchase their credit card, it could lead to bad credit and take years to correct.
Another thing that struck a cord with me was when Barr said, “Parents need to model behavior for their children. If you want your kids to unplug, you need to unplug too.” There have been many times where I have been texting or viewing things on my tablet while the little boys were happily playing, but I have to remember…they are not going to be little forever. I need to, as John Walsh said, “parent up.”
Technology can be a powerful learning tool, but we need to remember as parents to teach our children to be safe. The fact is, it is illegal for kids younger than 13 to be on Facebook, but many parents allow their tweens to create accounts. Kids need to be taught that whatever they post on the internet is there FOREVER. Even if you delete the picture…it is not truly gone. High school drinking pictures can ruin college admissions and jobs in the future.
Start teaching your kids early. There are lots of websites out there that offer digital contracts and resources for families like http://www.safely.com/. Find one that works for you!
I learned a lot during the taping, and naturally, such a fun part of the evening was the meet and greet with John Walsh!
For more information, please watch the video streaming of the event at http://www.visualwebcaster.com/event.asp?id=87776.