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I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for BGCA. I received a promotional item to thank me for participating. #Sponsored #MC #CyberTribe #CyberSafe
When I was a child, the idea of computers was still new. I can still remember my dad (a relatively early adopter of technology at the time) bringing a Commodore 64 into the house which became a draw just as strong as the Atari video games and cable TV for my sisters and I. These days, kids are surrounded by a ton of technology options (computers, video game systems, tablets, and smartphones) which all have the ability to be connected to the internet. With this new lifestyle comes the need to for parents and guardians to be striving to keep kids safe while online.
Boy and Girls Club of America (BGCA) understands how important internet safety is. With thousands of members, the BGCA sites have embraced technology in their sites while putting procedures in place to ensure safe usage of the internet. My rising 6th grader enjoys going to our local Boys and Girls Club after school several days a week as well as during the summer to hang out with friends.
He knows that the not just any site is accessible from the computer lab and that there are set times and protocols for using the computers. As a parent, I am glad that the director maintains a tight reign on what the kids are able to do with any suggested site getting a full evaluation by her before being allowed.
BGCA’s Cyber Safe Futures Initiative was created in support of Internet Safety Awareness which allows parents to become more educated about internet usage. When you visit the site, you can take a Cyber Smart Parent quiz to see where you stand on internet safety. Questions include whether you are friends with your child on social media outlets where they have an account and if you’ve ever googled their name to see what comes up. I took the quiz with the result of being a CyberSurvivor. However, I realized that some discussions (e.g. cyber bullying) haven’t happened with all of the boys. So, there’s room for improvement.
Additionally, they have a variety of resources on the site which cover the topics of cyber bullying, social networks, mobile technologies, and online privacy. Think you know it all? Even some of us who are online and into social networking have something to learn! Besides information on each topic, they have printable discussion cards to help you get the conversation going with your kids.
Finally, the BGCA’s Cyber Safe Futures Initiativeoffers a weekly teen CyberTribe Q&A in partnership with Sprint where you can submit your questions. This group of teens is internet savvy and willing to help. When you submit your question, you have the opportunity to enter a contest (through June 30, 2014) for an iPad mini plus a $500 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of your choice. I’ve submitted a few questions and have my fingers crossed as I know that donation can have a positive impact on our local BGCA.
What steps are you taking to keep the kids safe when they get online?
Have you discussed key issues regarding internet safety with your kids, especially the teens?