Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Tag: Internet Safety

Summer Internet Safety Tips for Parents

Summer break is quickly approaching and that means an abundance of free time for the children in your life. While there will be plenty of time spent outside, it is good to keep in mind some Internet safety topics to discuss with children to ensure their online experience is a positive one.

  1. Internet usage guidelines

Rather than telling them all the things they can’t do, have a conversation with your child about how long they are allowed online and what type of sites are OK or not OK. While you make the ultimate decision, show that you are listening to their opinions. Also discuss how to behave towards others when chatting, gaming, emailing, or messaging.

  1. The importance of privacy

While this depends on the age of the child, a simple rule for younger children could be that they should not give out their name, phone number or photo without a parent’s approval. Older children should be advised to be selective about what personal information they include on social networking, such as not including their address or telephone number on sites such as Facebook.

  1. Meeting online “friends”

The Internet can be a positive place for children to interact with other young people and ultimately make new friends. By discussing it ahead of time, your child is more likely to recognize if they’re talking to someone they shouldn’t be. This is a good way to keep the dialogue about Internet interaction between you and your children open.

Remember that the positive aspects of the Internet outweigh the negatives and that it is a wonderful educational and recreational resource. Let your child show you what they like to do online and discover it with them.

Safer Internet Day 2016

Are you a parent, scrambling to figure out ways to keep your children safe on the Internet? As children grow up with technology from before they can take a step or speak a sentence, there are many questions and troubles that can arise. Striving to address an emerging online issue each year, the Insafe organization has shed light on topics such as cyber-bullying and social networking. This year, Safer Internet Day 2016 has the theme “Play your part for a better internet!”

Safer Internet Day (SID) started as an initiative and has grown into a landmark event. Forming in Europe, the Insafe organization has grown above and beyond its original geographic zone and now celebrates in more than 100 countries worldwide, across all continents.

The idea is that no matter what language you speak or what country you call home, we all face issues brought forth by the Internet. As our children become emerged in the culture and effects of technology, cyber safety becomes increasingly important and we need to play our part in making the Internet a better place.

One resource of SID 2016 is a program called Family Online Safety Institute, where parents can go and filter helpful information by age of their child. It provides “advice, tips and tools empowering you to confidently navigate the online world with your kids.” Great Plains Communications wants to help provide information so families enjoy all the Internet has to offer, but in a safe manner. For more information on SID 2016, check out their website at http://saferinternetday.us/.

Take a Stand Against Cyberbullying

7th grade bullying project – Words Hurt, Holliston Middle School, Robert H. Adams Middle School

These girls are real seventh grade students who have seen and experienced the painful effects of cyber bullying. It is not something that can be categorized as only a problem in big cities or in specific schools or communities. Cyber bullying is everywhere and it is real. According to No Bullying Cyber Bullying 2014 Statistics, “25% of teenagers reported having experienced repeated bullying via their cell phone or online; 52% of young people reported being cyber bullied; 95% of teenagers who witnessed bullying on social media reported that others, like them, ignored the behavior.” These statistics are frightening and need to be changed, so Great Plains Communications asks you to stand up with us in the fight against cyber bullying. Stand up with us in the fight to keep our children and communities safe.

Below we have listed a few things stopbullying.gov has suggested to keep in mind to help in the fight against cyber bullying:

  • Be Aware of What Your Kids are Doing Online
    • Just like a physical place, ask your kids where they are going online and who they are going on there with.
    • Install parental control filtering software or monitoring programs, but do not rely solely on these tools.
    • Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they, or someone they know is being cyberbullied.
  • Establish Rules about Technology Use
    • Talk with your children about which sites are permitted when they are online and which ones are not. Show them how to be safe online.
    • Help them understand what is smart to share online and what isn’t, and explain how words can be hurtful.
    • Explain to them that once something is posted, it is out of their hands who sees or shares it even if they try to take it down.
  • Understand School Rules
    • Most schools have developed policies on uses of technology that could affect the child’s online behavior in and out of the classroom. Ask the school about their policies.

Children today are growing up in a different world than their parents. Their pain could be stemming from much more than a scraped knee from falling off their bike. It is time we took a stand and started asking the right questions to bring those statistics down.

If you have questions about your Internet service with Great Plains Communications, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative will be happy to assist you.