It’s certainly taken longer than I had anticipated, but yesterday I finally submitted my ebook to Apple and Amazon for publishing on iBooks and Kindle! It’s now available for Amazon Kindle and will be soon for Apple iBooks. In case you didn’t know about it, it’s called: Internet Safety for Children: A Parent’s Practical Guide to Keeping their Children Safe Online. It’s full of interesting research and practical ideas & solutions to help guide your kids safely on the internet, cell phones, apps and other devices. After almost 20 years of internet development and consulting along with 2 kids, I decided it was time to share some knowledge.
Stay tuned and I’ll let you know when it’s available on iBooks and when I’ll be giving away some free copies!
From the first chapter:
What is Internet Safety About?
Back in 1996, I started learning about the internet as fast as I could. Domain names cost at least $75 per year and not many people had them, except for the few who speculated correctly and bought names that later sold for millions of dollars. We learned quickly, copied technologies regularly and didn’t even consider online security. Hackers, spammers and pornographers didn’t yet exist online.
One day I remember wondering why there was so much junk in my inbox when it was clean the day before. Then, I remember hearing about accounts being compromised via passwords that were too easy to guess. Next it was website hacking, then, online pornography websites became common. Soon after came identify theft and predators, then harassment and bullying. The list goes on and on.
I firmly believe that kids should remain kids as long as possible, because growing up seems to come all too soon. Being a kid should ALWAYS be about doing kid things.
Sometimes it seems hopeless to keep our kids protected from the outside world. But it’s not.
As a parent, youth educator and internet professional with almost 20 years’ experience, I’ve concluded that there are two essential child internet safety principles. If followed, they can help protect your kids in any situation.
- Internet safety is more about your relationship with your children than about the technology.
- Internet safety is about knowing as much as or more than your kids do about the internet.
Protecting our children 24/7 just isn’t possible. There are too many devices and too many ways to connect. Our goal shouldn’t be to hide the internet from our children, but give them the tools and trust to handle whatever they find.
A recent study by McAfee from May 21, 2012, reports that 75% of teens don’t inform their parents when online communications reach uncomfortable levels (68% of girls and 19% of boys).
- 46% of teens feel the internet influences what their boyfriend or girlfriend expects from them in terms of relationship behavior.
- 29% of girls say that they have experienced interactions on the internet with members of the opposite sex that made them feel pressured, uncomfortable or threatened, compared to 18% of boys and 20% overall.
- 34% of teen girls say that they have received unwanted attention from the opposite sex online, compared to 16% of boys.
- 23% of all teens say that they’ve received unwanted attention from the opposite sex online.
- 30% of teens seek love on Facebook with 22% still looking to find love within church communities.
If your child doesn’t tell you when they’re uncomfortable, you can’t help them. As you work together with your child and help them build their online presence safely, you’ll earn their trust, building a bridge of effective communication. Your kids want to know what they should do when they come across something that makes them uncomfortable.
In this book, I’ll cover strategies and tools for kids, as well as ideas for parents on building a stronger relationship with your children. I’ll also uncover some secrets of social media and portable devices to increase privacy and safety online.