This is just a brief follow-up post to my previous essay about Keeping Your Kids Safe Online. I’ve had several people send emails asking for links to additional online resources that they can consult for ongoing support in this area. I dug around a little and I found the following websites that might be of interest. If you know of others that I haven’t included, please feel free to add them to the list via the comments on this post.
- The first site was actually suggested by a reader and it’s a site sponsored by and managed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – NetSmartz.org.
- The National Crime Prevention Center has info about online safety on it’s McGruff.org website.
- The Girl Scouts has a website where girls can talk to each other and girls and parents can get info about online safety. LMK = Let Me Know.
Here’s a list of links to software and web-based tools parents can use to monitor their children’s behavior:
- Monitor your child on the web and on their cell phone with websafety.com.
- The McGruff site offers a free chat and web filter (McGruff Safeguard) – it monitors intstant messaging, social networks and website visits, just to name a few.
- Internetsafety.com has both a home and mobile version of its monitoring software. You can keep a close eye on your kid’s internet usage and interactions on the web and the mobile web — which is a growing concern among parents.
- My Mobile WatchDog is another product that allows you to watch your kid’s cellphone activity.
Just to be clear, the Geek Girl’s Guide does not endorse or claim any in-depth knowledge of any of these products. This is just a starting point, a simple resource list for parents to begin to explore the plethora of options available to them for limiting and monitoring their kids online behaviors. I am not a big fan of limiting, unless it becomes necessary. I am a fan of monitoring to inform an active, ongoing dialogue between you and your children.
Stay tuned to the blog for the cell phone safety post I am currently working on. We’ll explore the different types of phones and the different types of monitoring devices available to parents for cell phones.
At the end of the day its communication, involvement and awareness that will keep your kids safe online. Those things don’t come from a software package. They come from you.