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It is always good to remind our community about the use of social media and how it relates to young people.  There are some great resources out there for parents to educate themselves about these issues.  Previous articles written on here address many of these issues and suggest various ways to manage technology in the home environment.

Some additional pointers for parents with young children.

  1. Keep all technology stored out of reach of young children.  It doesn’t take long for a four year old to work out your phone pin and have access to the web.
  2. Place all technology in the home in a central place each night – keep technology out of the bedroom.  For example, we store all technology in the study each night where it is charged and out of reach.
  3. Social media sites have a clear age restriction.  Users under 13 MUST NOT have an account.  This is a legal requirement clearly outlined in their service user agreements.  Additionally, in the case of Skype the service agreement states that a user can not accept the terms of service if they are not of legal age to form a binding agreement.
  4. Just because your child is 13 or older does not mean they should have access to social media.  Your house, your rules!!
  5. Set clear rules for the use of technology in your home and discuss your family expectations about the use of all online tools.

I would like to suggest a great product I recently purchased for our home network (I promise no paid for comments on this one!!).  I recently replaced our home wifi router (the box that shares the internet connection in the house) with the Netgear Nighthawk.  This router has some wonderful control features built in.  It is simple to set clear policies on your network for ANY device that connects to it.  For example, we have no internet access to iPads during bed time.  The system also has an iPhone app that allows me to remotely check the usage of each device on my network as well as ban or restrict access.

With the management of mobile devices, I would suggest looking at the parental control settings on any Apple iOS device.  This feature allows you to stop the downloading of apps such as skype or apps rated for a mature audience.  In the most recent update of iOS, Apple have included family sharing for the app store.  This allows you to setup your children on your account and have a setting in place that they must request your permission before downloading any apps.  Here is an article explaining this feature – http://www.macworld.com/article/2686049/get-to-know-ios-8-family-sharing.html

Here are a series of iPad management tutorials we filmed a while back that may still be helpful