Friday, September 16th, 2011
Update Urged on Children’s Online Privacy
Aiming to catch up with fast-churning technology that touches children’s lives every day, the Federal Trade Commission on Thursday proposed long-awaited changes to regulations covering online privacy for children.
Number of Kids Poisoned by Household Medications Up 28 Percent
Every year, half a million kids age 5 and younger get into household medications and are poisoned.
White House Details Plans for More Digital Learning
The White House will unveil plans Friday for a research center that aims to infuse more digital learning into the nation’s classrooms. The center, dubbed “Digital Promise,” will aid the rapid development of new learning software, educational games and other technologies, in part through helping educators vet what works and what doesn’t.
Colleges Moving Away from Plastic Water Bottles
According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), 14 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada have campus-wide bans on the sale of plain bottled water, while another dozen or so have bans that cover a portion of campus.
Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated
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Joshua and Jacob Spates, who spent their first seven months outside the womb as conjoined twins, are recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit of a Memphis hospital after a successful 13-hour surgery to separate them.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
As your kids head back to school, they will make new friends, reconnect with old friends, and possibly encounter cyberbullies, bullies who use technology (computers, cell phones) to belittle, attack, and harass other kids. Parents.com reached out to Marian Merritt, a tech-savvy mother of three and Internet Safety Advocate and advisor for Norton, the anti-virus software company, for tips on how parents can prevent and deal with cyberbullying. Marian is also the author of Norton’s “Family Online Safety Guide,” a free guide on how to protect children online, and the Editor-in-Chief of Norton’s Family Resource website, which offers free tips about Internet security. Read her advice below.
Although most parents worry about strangers approaching their kids online, the most common online danger to befall kids is cyberbullying. It’s common for 20% of kids to experience some form of online harassment and receive hateful, insulting messages from social networks, emails, instant messages, and videos. Cyberbullying is very painful for anyone to experience and just responding to a mean email with another verbal volley can also turn the victim into a cyberbully and escalate the cyberbullying and. Find information cyberbullying at www.stopbullying.gov and www.cyberbullying.us.
1- Ask if your school’s bullying policy includes an online bullying policy.
2- Talk to your kids about remaining nice and courteous when they’re talking to others online, even if they can’t see them on the computer via a webcam.
3- Explain that even if you type nice things on the computer, someone else can change what you type so it says something different. Role play how that would make him feel if this happens.
4- When they finish using the computer (at school, at a friend’s house, or at home), always be sure to log out. This will prevent anyone from posting anything online, especially on a social network, even if it’s just a “joke.”
5- Tell your kids to never share log-in and password information, not even with a close friend. If they did, make sure to change the information immediately.
Dealing with Cyberbullying
1- Teach your child not to respond directly or immediately to cyberbully attacks. Instead…
2- Keep a copy of all the messages sent on a computer or over a mobile phone. If they include threats of harassment and violence, report the cyberbully to appropriate sources such as the webmaster (if the messages are on a public website) and/or school teachers and administrators. Be sure to follow up in person and ask for a written plan on how your child’s school will respond to the problem. Most states have laws against this form of abuse and schools have an obligation to address the issue when made aware of the problem. The local police can also help if the dangers are immediate.
3- Make sure your child knows they can talk to you about his feelings. Cyberbullying is an incredibly painful experience and often it’s hard to know which children should feel comfortable confiding in you for support and help.
More About Cyberbullying on Parents.com
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Your growing child’s cyber safety is important everyday, but take some time today to think more about safeguarding his or her interaction with others online.
Parents must be vigilant in watching what their kids consume online. Make sure your child isn’t stumbling across questionable photos, traumatic news, and any other content that are more suitable for mature audiences. GoGoNews.com is a new site dedicated to providing and sharing kid-friendly news while Net Cetera is a goverment-funded resource (online and print) that can help parents understand the changing internet landscape.
Visit Kidzui.com to download a free web browser designed just for kids that filters out adult content or try out United Parents Protection Service, a free software that will help parents monitor their children’s internet usage.
Also, keeping an eye on your kids may help you spot any potential signs of cyberbullying, a growing trend of online bullying. My Mobile Watchdog is an app that can help prevent cyberbullying from escalating.
Other resources from Parents.com to protect your kids:
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Monday, December 27th, 2010
With the increase in cyberbullying, parents are worried about how to protect their children from harmful messages on computers, cell phones, and smart phones.
To help parents understand the basics of the electronic world, the Federal Trade Commission has an amazing resource called “Net Cetera,” an online community toolkit with resources in both the English and Spanish languages.
For adults, the toolkit includes a short, straightforward book (“Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online”) that provides parents with a glossary on the latest technology terms and practical information on social networking, mobile devices, texting, cyberbullying, sexting, phishing, file sharing, and more. A CD is also included to help parents communicate with kids about being online.
For kids, the toolkit includes a “Heads Up: Stop Click Think” pamphlet that helps them understand the importance of safeguarding their online privacy. A DVD is also available to help kids stand up to cyberbullying and protect themselves.
Since it’s debut, the FTC has distributed 1 million copies of Net Cetera to schools and parents. Request a “Net Cetera” toolkit by mail order from ftc.gov today or print the guidelines from OnGuardOnline.com.
More Resources from the Federal Trade Commission:
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