Practicing Tech and Media Safety in Your Home

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Media, the internet, and technology in general have been a wonderful tool for humanity. Technology helps to connect us and keep us connected. It brings us knowledge of the world around us. It helps us to find new interests and can even make everyday life more straightforward.

Unfortunately, it would be beyond wrong to say that all the advances and availability of technology are positive. There are a whole host of problems that can come from technology, from fraud to internet addiction to other problems that pose a threat to your family and children.

So how can you keep your family safe when they’re using tech?

Why has Technology and Media Become a Problem? 

There was an interesting show a few years ago, in which a family started living as if they were in the 1950s.  Every day, they moved forward one year. What the show found was that with the arrival of personal devices, everyone began spending much more time alone in their bedrooms, behind closed doors.

When they’re alone, your children are more likely to get into problematic or potentially dangerous situations. In order to keep an eye on what your kids are up to, have an open-door policy, and keep any laptop and computer use limited to public family areas. 

Establish Technology Rules

A little bit of education can go a long way. Look at establishing some ground rules that all the family will follow. Creating your own rules around technology and media use, can potentially create conflict for kids and teens who may already be addicted to their devices, games, or social media.

Involving the kids in the rule making process helps limit this conflict. Ask for their input. Are there areas where they can tell they struggle with media or tech use? Can they see where there might potentially be dangerous situations. What guidelines would they propose to mitigate or help avoid these issues?

Some families very successfully establish an internet and technology use contract with their teens.

Possible Tech and Media Rules for Families

  • Talk about passwords and the importance of keeping them private
  • Come up with an outline of what types of websites are fine to visit and what should be avoided
  • Talk about what to do if you see something or come upon something inappropriate or potentially harmful to someone
  • Set hours for tech use, and, if needed, outline hours that tech and media is off limits
  • Establish rules for any places where tech should be used or not used

Beware of Big Data and Know Their Privacy Policies

People rightly pay attention to the obvious scams and nefarious activities of the internet, but some of the biggest dangers exist in plain sight. Giant corporations like Facebook and Google often collect and store our data to sell to advertisers or others down the road.

It is a good idea to keep up to date with privacy policies and know how your data is used. It can be very eye opening to know how much personal information we are giving away on a daily basis.

Learn how to delete Google account, your Facebook account, or other social media accounts. You can even switch your family’s online activities to a company that will protect your data. This isn’t a solution for everyone, but knowing how to do it may come in handy in the future.

Too Much Online Time

We think of tech dangers as being those things that other people can do to our family, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, we do damage to ourselves. Internet addiction is a real problem, especially among teenage boys.

If your child is spending far too many hours browsing the web or playing online games, look at getting help. Internet, smartphone, and/or gaming addictions can lead to depression, anxiety, social isolation, and suicidal thoughts.

Despite all the dangers of tech and media and the caution that needs to be taken with them, I am still grateful for all the blessings technology brings us. I love connecting with friends and family online, am thankful for instant answers to my questions from Professor Google, and am so grateful for the ability to find a recipe quickly when I’m flying by the seat of my pants and have no idea what to make for the dinner that needs to be on the table in less than an hour.

About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.