App and Net Safety: Holiday Tips for Parents

By: Michigan City Area Schools Last Updated: December 17, 2013

mcasAs the holiday season approaches, many pre-teens and teens are receiving electronic devices and games. Michigan City Area Schools and the Michigan City Police Department have compiled some reminders for parents:

  • Keep an open line of communication with your child about what social media sites and apps they are using. Have a family meeting to discuss ground rules regarding the internet, cell phones, and other electronic devices.
  • Establish regular check-ins with your child to review sites and apps.
    • Walk through apps your child is using, and have them show you that they have set privacy filters to “friends only.”
    • Have them share passwords with you.
  • Make sure your child understands it is not okay to give out personal information (phone number, address, passwords, current locations, etc.).
  • Remind your children that nothing is private on the web. If they wouldn’t post it on a poster in the school lunchroom, they should not text it or post it online.
  • Talk to your children about webcam safety. Be sure they are not using apps or programs such as Skype and Yahoo to connect with people they do not know.
  • Be aware that interactive gaming, such as online games, Xbox, and PlayStation provide a place for your child to interact with strangers.
  • “Anonymous” is dangerous. Make sure your child understands that if things are coming to them anonymously (either online or through apps such as Ask.fm, Kik, or Facebook Messenger) they should not respond.
    • Stress that friends of friends may not be friends, and they should not be added as contacts.
    • Children should never agree to meet anyone in person that they met online.
  • Tell your children that if they feel threatened or bullied through electronic devices, they should tell you and/or an adult at school.