• Children start using technology at an early age
  • Knowing how to use the Internet responsibly is a critical skill
  • Digital technology is an important social tool for children, particularly teenagers
  • The overarching goal is to make sure they are good digital citizens
  • Technology use and safety need to be an ongoing conversation with parents, children, teachers, friends, etc.

Parent's Role Changes 

  •  Your role with your children's technology use and online lives changes over time
  • For younger children using a shared device, parents act as guardians, monitoring online activity and making sure kids' choices are age-appropriate
  • For older children, parents act more as advisers, reminding them of the consequences of their choices and directing them toward positive ones

 What does It Mean To Be A Good Digital Citizen? 

  • In short, it means being mindful, careful, and considerate when using technology and spending time online

Technology At Home

  • Children and teenagers use technology at home for:
  • Doing schoolwork
  • Using applications
  • Visit Virtual Worlds
  • Play multiuser games
  • Use social media:  post profiles and interact on social media sites
  • Text with friends

Technology At School

  • Children and teenagers use technology at school for:
  • Access homework assignments and study materials
  • Communicate with teachers and classmates
  • Watch educational videos and visit educational websites
  • Conduct research

Facts and Statistics

  • 95% of 12-17 year olds are online
  • 81% of online teenagers use a social network
  • 75% have a phone
  • 31% of 8-10 year olds have a phone

What Do They Do on Mobile Devices

With smartphones, tablets, iTouch, and similar devices, it's easier than ever for young children to be plugged in whenever they want to be.  Here's what they are doing:

  • 63% play games
  • 50% use apps
  • 47% watch videos
  • 38% watch TV and movies
  • 30% read books

Social Media/Networking

  • 81% of teenagers who are online use social networks
  • Their sites of choice include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat
  • They use the sites primarily to connect with friends and follow their updates, and to post their own updates, photos, and videos

 Potential Risks of Social Media

  • Can be a big "time suck" and distraction from homework and other responsibilities
  • Can foster tweens/teenagers' natural impulsivity and failure to consider consequences
  • Can encourage predators and scammers
  • Can lead to an unflattering digital footprint that can follow children throughout college

Children and Mobile Phones

  • Nearly 80% of teenagers have a mobile phone;  many younger children do as well
  • Mobile phones can offer parents and children a measure of comfort when they are away from home
  • There is no magic time for a child to have a phone.  Factors to consider include their age, what they want to use it for, and the expense.

Tips for Mobile Monitoring

  • Put a password on the phone
  • Install an Internet filter and parental control applications if needed
  • Set phone limits
  • Make sure phones are charged outside the children's bedrooms at night
  • Set up nighttime shut-off through the cell phone provider


  • Using online technology to repeatedly act cruelly to someone
  • Posting or forwarding a private text or embarrassing image to others
  • Tricking someone into revealing embarrassing information and then forwarding it
  • Spreading rumors

Dealing with Cyberbullying

Along with monitoring your child's social media, tell them to:
  •  Resist responding to unkind remarks
  • Block the cyberbully
  • Tell a trusted adult
  • Save the posts and notify law enforcement or the school, if appropriate
  • Consider deactivating their account if it continues to affect them negatively

Other Safety Tips

  • Be familiar with the sites your child visits and the games they play
  • Know their "online friends"
  • Know their passwords
  • Keep an ongoing dialogue about the ways they are using digital technology and its effects
  • Keep your security software up to date
  • Post information about and photos of your children wisely

 Protect Against Predators and Scams

  • Don't click on unfamiliar links
  • Don't open or reply to emails from unknown senders
  • Avoid videos that require you to download video player software
  • Don't enter online contests or giveaways

Take Your Job as an Online Role Model Seriously

  • Kids take their social cues from adults.  This includes online behavior.

 A Digital Code of Conduct

  • Protect your personal information
  • Treat others online as you would treat them in person
  • Stand up for others-don't tolerate cyberbullying
  • Avoid plagiarism and copyright infringement
  • Create secure passwords and keep them secret from your friends
  • Delete (and don't open) suspicious emails
  • Ignore contact from strangers online
  • Tell your parents if something you read online makes you feel uncomfortable
  • Check with your parent or other trusted adult before downloading any content

Helping Children Manage Their Digital Footprint

  • Everything I do reflects on me
  • Anything I post is there forever
  • Information I post can easily be copied
  • Things I post can quickly be sent to many people
  • You are never sure who can see what you are posting, clicking on, or downloading
  • It's not clear if you are just sharing with a few
  • People behave differently when they can not see you

Remember, the Internet Can Be a Wonderful Experience for Children

  •  The Internet and digital technology enable children to learn and communicate in a variety of helpful and interesting ways
  • Parents can help make digital technology a positive experience for children by helping their child find positive ways to use technology and be online

Positive Ways to Be Online

  • Schoolwork (research, educational sites, homework assignments)
  • Emailing friends and family
  • Blogging
  • Sharing photos with friends and family
  • Creating and sharing videos
 Your Part In Their Experience
  • Decide the basics
  • Set the rules
  • Teach them to be good digital citizens
  • Model good digital/online behavior
  • Let them try 


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1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard     Glenshaw, PA. 15116     P 412-492-1200     F 412-492-1236
1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard Glenshaw, PA. 15116 P 412-492-1200 F 412-492-1236
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