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Safer Technology Resources

There’s no arguing that modern technology poses a range of dangers to your children’s development and to the value of their relationships. You know your child needs your guidance to develop a healthy relationship with technology, and to learn to regulate their own use in a healthy manner in the long term. You also know that you must protect your child, especially from more acute threats, until they learn the foundations of self regulation.

 

Any time you consider restriction, you must also consider how such measures will affect trust between you and your child. Your child needs your trust to transition through to adulthood in a whole, healthy manner. However, this trust must be mutual. Your child must also trust you.

 

Thus the importance of communication. As a parent, you can’t demand trust. It’s a gradual process that requires mutual commitment and constant communication over time.

 

We’ve created this resource to help you learn about the many tools you can leverage to keep your child safe when using today’s very powerful technology. As you develop a system to regulate your child’s usage, we encourage you to be open and communicate with your child about your intentions. The more they know, and the more they trust your actions, the better the long-term results.

 

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.”
― Rudolf Steiner

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Password Managers

KeePass
https://keepass.info/
KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

LastPass
https://www.lastpass.com/
They’re all about eliminating the pain and frustration of passwords, so you have peace of mind about your online life and confidence in your digital security. Over 13,000,000 people trust LastPass, including 43,000 businesses.

RoboForm
https://www.roboform.com/
Features syncing across platforms and devices, secure sharing, unlimited logins, and more. Individual and family plans offer more flexibility. Their mission is to give individuals and companies the power to safely and conveniently access and manage their data.

1Password
https://1password.com/
1Password is an easy and safe way to share passwords, credit cards, and anything else that’s too important to email. It helps your family practice smart online security by generating strong, unique passwords for all your online accounts.

Safe Gaming

Xbox One
https://support.xbox.com/en-US/browse/xbox-one/security/Privacy%20protection
The Xbox One and Windows 10 offer family settings and multiple levels of restriction. In the family settings you’ll find a very useful screen that shows you all the different workarounds that could be used to used to circumvent the family settings, so you’re empowered to proactively close loopholes or check to see if these loopholes have been used. These controls have a range of settings and access limits for Internet usage as well.

PlayStation 4
https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/get-help/help-library/my-account/parental-controls/ps4-parental-controls/
The PS4’s parental controls have recently been improved. To use parental controls on a PS4, you have to set up your child’s account as a sub-account (now called a family member account) on your own PSN. You can then protect these settings with a PIN number. With these controls, you can restrict games based on age rating, restrict Internet access, limit voice chat and private messages, and even limit access to user-generated content when gaming online. You can also set playtime limits.

Nintendo Switch
https://play.nintendo.com/parents/crash-courses/parental-controls/#switch
Nintendo prides itself on being a family-friendly company, producing family-friendly products. So it’s no wonder their parental controls are so great. Unlike most consoles, the Switch parental controls are on an app rather than the actual console, which means children can’t get in there easily change the settings. You must register for a Nintendo accounts to use the app.

Nintendo WiiU/3DS
https://play.nintendo.com/parents/crash-courses/parental-controls/#wiiu3ds
The WiiU and 3DS parental control settings operate identically. To get started, navigate to the system settings and create a 4-digit PIN. You can also register an email address in case you forget your PIN. Parental Controls to block games, restrict internet access, and control online interaction. You can adjust parental control settings based on the age of the person who’s currently playing. Which means that you can set appropriate boundaries even if your  child and your teenager share a single device.

Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)
https://www.esrb.org/
This is a great place to get general, third-party information about each console, games, and more from an objective consumer protection organization.

Online Gaming

Wired Safety
http://stopcyberbullying.org/
WiredSafety.org is a program operated by Teach Me Peace, Inc., a 501c-3 charity organized under United States law and formed in the State of Wisconsin. The WiredSafety program is entirely virtual, with volunteers from 76 countries around the world collaborating to help people online continuously.

SafeKids.com
http://www.safekids.com/kids-rules-for-online-safety/
SafeKids.com is one of the oldest and most enduring sites for Internet safety. Its founder and editor, Larry Magid, is the author of the original National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s 1994 brochure, “Child Safety on the Information Highway.” He is co-director of ConnectSafely.org and a technology journalist.

Childline
https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/bullying-abuse-safety/online-mobile-safety/online-gaming/
Childline is a free, private and confidential service where young people can talk about anything. Their focus is children 19 and under living in the UK, but their resources and information are universal.

 

Parental Control Apps for Mobile

Qustudio
https://www.qustodio.com/en
Designed to supervise, monitor, and protect your child’s mobile devices, it works to filter harmful content and limit online usage. A data dashboard shows you exactly how your child spends their time online. This app includes location tracking. You can start with a free account.

Kaspersky Lab
https://usa.kaspersky.com/safe-kids
Offers a broad range of monitoring and restriction options to help you keep your children’s screen time reasonable and their interactions safe. Includes location tracking.

Norton
https://us.norton.com/norton-family-premier
Makes the Web safer for your children to explore by keeping you informed of which sites they visit, and blocks harmful or inappropriate sites. It allows you to schedule screen time limits for device usage, and provides insights into the search terms and videos that interest your children and flags unsafe behavior so you can discuss it with them.

Social Networking Safety

NPR
https://www.npr.org/2011/07/11/137705552/ten-safe-social-networking-sites-for-kids
This list, curated and featured by NPR, offers parents a list of child-centered social media platforms where young children can get accustomed to conducting themselves in online social situations.

US Department of Homeland Security – Cyber Infrastructure
https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips/ST06-003
This article provides a clear, exhaustive list of precautions to take when using social media at any age. Notably, this article details how to avoid social engineering and phishing attacks.

Kids Health
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/social-media-smarts.html
Kids Health offers tips and strategies to help parents keep kids physically and emotionally healthy. This article takes an in-depth look at the benefits and problems with social media for children and teens, and offers strategies to help mitigate the risks of social media.

Kaspersky Lab
https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/preemptive-safety-for-kids-social-media-safety
Kaspersky Lab is an Internet safety company offering a wide range of online protection products, including child safety software. In this article, experts at Kaspersky Lab share tips on social media safety for networking at any age.

Children are amazing. They can wrap their young minds around even the most nuanced concepts with ease, especially when properly incentivized. That said, parental controls are not fool proof. Marvel at your child’s resourcefulness, and check to ensure your parental controls are in place regularly.

Download our free Ebook, “Safe Technology Resources: Parental Control Options for Mindful Technology Usage”