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June 14, 2013

Boys & Girls Club (BGCA) CyberSafe Internet Safty campaign

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Since DH grew up in a household with both parents working full time outside the home, for many years he spent his afternoons and summers at the Boys & Girls Club. He told me that it was a place for him to spend time with his friends and do his homework everyday after school. For his parents, it was a safe and affordable place for their kids to go.

As an organization that is concerned about the safety of children, Boys & Girls Club has launched Cyber Safe Futures, a campaign designed to raise awareness among parents and guardians on the issue of cyber safety. June is Internet Safety Month! Boys and Girls Club is using this opportunity to highlight internet safety concerns such as cyberbullying, online privacy, social networking, and mobile smarts. Through bringing awareness, the organization encourages parents to start dialogues with their children about importance of internet safety as well as the different ways their children could protect themselves .

As a mother of a soon to be 2nd grader, I am definitely concerned about my daughter's access to the internet and the type of people she might encounter in cyberspace. DD does have her own computer but she does not have internet access on it. If she needs to do any sort of research online, we actually sit down with her to use the internet together. Did you know that one out of three parents believe that their teens are much more tech savvy than they are?! That is one scary thought! Luckily, that is unlike to occur in our household. Since my husband is a video game designer for the PC system and I am a mommy blogger, we are pretty tech savvy. Although we might not know it all, we are not stuck in the dinosaur era either. We plan on keeping up with technological advances so that we are not left behind. In a time that technology is changing so quickly, we want to make sure that we always know enough to protect our children.

I took the Cyber Survivor Challenge Quiz. While I scored pretty well, I did learned a couple of things that I planned on utilizing when DD is older. For instance, it is good to Google your child's name so that you could see if his/her photo is being misused or inappropriately tagged. Another thing I learned is that if your child has a facebook account, be sure to have their posts and pictures set at custom setting. This way, friends of friends who might not know your child would not be able to see his/her posts or tag them in pictures. While I was on the CyberSafeFutures.org site, I also learned that one out of three teens have been cyberbullied. What a scary fact! If you are a parent, please take a moment to visit the site to learn all the facts and start a internet safety discussion with your child. It is never too early or too late!  


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