Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Keep your kids safe online! #digitalkids #internetsafety

Do you worry about how to keep your kids safe online in such an extremely digital world? Read on for my recommendation on an awesome digital parenting tool for Internet safety.

kids safe online internet safety

This is not a sponsored post! No one asked me to review the product or share my opinion. I do get a reward if you sign up through the links provided, but it's not about that. I'm only trying to spread the word about an Internet safety product that is working for us. Parenting in such a digital world is scary, people!

My soon-to-be middle schooler got an iPhone for Christmas. I still restrict her to WiFi-only, but she texts her friends and browses the Internet once in a while. I only allow YouTube kids (access to mobile web YouTube is restricted in her settings). So I feel like I'm doing my job. However, you never know what kids will find out there, or what they might be texting one another. 

I retain my right as the parent of a minor to read whatever I want on her phone, but I'm also trying to let her feel my trust as she grows up. So far, Bark has been a fantastic Internet safety option for us. It notifies me if any danger words are included in her texts, emails, or browsing activity (it can also track social media networks, YouTube, and more, if your child has access to those). Bark alerts parents of anything that could be related to cyberbullying, sex, suicide, depression, and violence. After I signed up, I still had no issues reported after several weeks. So naturally, I wondered if it was working correctly. But today, I received an alert about a website with potential violence. Bark notified me on my cell phone and email!

It turned out that she looked up Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series, three books that she recently read and really enjoyed. 

While those books do feature violence, she is a very mature and advanced reader - and we allowed her to read the series and watch the movies. So, false alarm! I love that the app sends me those kinds of notifications. She's a really awesome kid and I don't expect trouble, but this gives me peace of mind. You just never know.

Try it for free for a month! After that, the subscription is only $9 monthly. For me, a mama who grew up in the 80s, now navigating this digital world with a soon-to-be middle schooler? This is totally worth it. 

I'm not really blogging anymore, but every now and then, I come across something worth sharing. Often, I'll put it on BalancingMama on Facebook. Feel free to follow there if you want to see more.

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