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Parenting in a Digital World

Is it parenting or “sharenting”?

Questions to ask before you post that photo and embarrass your kids online.

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As you teach your kids that “what goes online stays online,” you should also think about what you share as a parent. Could the countless baby pictures or anecdotes about your teen’s friendship dramas or bad grades in math embarrass them in the future? Would you be upset if they posted the same information about themselves or their siblings? Who exactly can see your updates, photos or videos?

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) wanted to learn more about whether parents are oversharing—or “sharenting”—and conducted a study with Hart Research Associates on “Parents, Privacy and Technology Use” to examine how parents model technology habits for their kids. In these focus groups, many parents shared that they posted updates, photos, and even the school’s name and location as their kids headed back to school. When asked to reflect more about what they post or their friends post about their kids, some parents started to share examples of over-the-top updates and other parents posting personal information about their families.

Most parents surveyed gave themselves an A or B when asked to grade how they are doing at setting a good example for online behavior, but other parents overshared information and had embarrassed their kids. Some found themselves spending too much time on devices or sometimes just couldn’t set restrictions on time or use of technology. Because they were busy, letting their kids online meant getting a few quiet minutes or hours to get other things done at home.

A few parents reported how much they liked sharing updates about their kids’ accomplishments because social media allowed them to publicly express their pride. One parent really wanted to share videos of her daughter’s singing but stopped herself because she thought about the potential mean comments that might occur from a public post.

Are parents’ social posts embarrassing?

According to the study, one in five parents (19%) posted something online that their child may find embarrassing in the future and 10% have said their child asked them to take down something they posted online. Luckily, only 7% said they posted something negative or critical about their child, such as bad behavior.

Parents are understandably excited when wanting to share life’s milestones, accomplishments, and their child’s development with friends and family, but a quick pause to think through what you are sharing and with whom can help minimize the risk of “sharenting.”

6 things to consider before posting

Whether its venting about behavior, sharing anecdotes on a school issue or posting a silly video of your child, take a moment to reflect on whether the content would upset your kid or if it contains too much private information. Some key questions to think about before posting:

  1. Have I updated or checked my privacy settings lately?
  2. Is this information public and should I worry about someone else sharing it?
  3. Should I limit the audience to family or close friends?
  4. Am I sharing information such as my child’s date of birth, school address, location details or other personal info? 
  5. Would my child be upset if someone came across this post when they are older?
  6. Is this story better told in person or via text message to a small group?

Conoce más sobre how to manage privacy settings on the top social apps. There are a lot of ways to limit who can see what on social media, so you can restrict what you are sharing to particular groups of friends or just your immediate family.

Ask the expert: your teen

FOSI’s research found that 39% of parents learned something about using social media from their child and parents of teens are most likely to acknowledge learning something about technology from their child. If you ask them to help you with your privacy settings and ask about what content they consider “sharenting,” it can help you rethink your own behavior. These conversations have an added bonus of revealing what your child already knows about privacy and if they are thinking about their own digital footprint.

Use screens together

The study found that the parents who often use technology side-by-side with their child are more confident about managing their child’s technology use—so take some time to learn and explore sites and post social updates together.

Let’s face it: Parents will always embarrass their kids—Dad trying Fortnite moves at the school dance is always a hit. But, with a little communication and understanding, we can minimize social “sharenting.”

FOSI’s research project was made possible by a grant from the Digital Trust Foundation.

This article was authored by staff at the Family Online Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to empower parents to confidently navigate the digital world with their kids. It was originally posted on their Good Digital Parenting blog and republished here with permission.

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Character counts: Have a heart-to-heart about online reputation

Consider these guidelines while discussing the impact of over-sharing.

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When your teen is ready for the world of online sharing is up to you and your family. But, the conversation about the kind of person they want to be—in real time and online—should be early and ongoing. For most parents, it would be horrifying to find explicit or offensive content on their child’s public page or profile for everyone to see. A parent wants what’s best for their child, and surely, they want their kids to personify the values they’ve imparted on them.

But, mistakes happen, and adults, children and teenagers sometimes post certain information that should otherwise not be public. If your child decides that their post does not represent them anymore, they can delete the post. Unfortunately, anything that goes online will stay online, even after being deleted. The “privacy settings” and other tools that make users feel more at ease when deciding to share information only grant us a false sense of security. Smart phones and other digital tools were not necessarily designed with privacy in mind. Even if your child or teen takes extra precaution when sharing information that he or she thinks is private, their information could always leak. That is because, whether publicly or privately, information shared over digital means will always have a way to become widely accessible. After all, a screenshot can be taken, phones can be stolen and passwords can be hacked.

Unfortunately, anything that goes online will stay online, even after being deleted. The privacy settings and other tools that make users feel more at ease when deciding to share information only grant us a false sense of security.

 Research shows that we’re all using mobile devices to do more: to find a date, a house or a job. Chances are, your parents talked with you about making a good first impression on a job interview, how to look people in the eye and give them a firm handshake. They likely talked with you about why that was important. For many young adults, texting and reaching out online is that first handshake. It’s the new “nice to meet you.”
 

What kind of person do you want to be?

If the question sounds heavy, it is. For starters, this conversation can help strengthen the parent-child bond as they discuss the makings of their identity. For any developing mind, understanding who they are can be a contentious and challenging question. But frequent conversations initiated by those who we love and support the most is a way to help young people answer questions about who they are and what they stand for.

Try this:

When possible, speak from your own experience when you were a teen. When did you start thinking about who you wanted to be and what you believe in? How did you go about becoming that person? Teens are more responsive when you talk from your own experience and memories.

Before you post, do you think about who’s going to see it?

Because our digital presence becomes an extension of our identity, children should become aware that their online actions have consequences. Online activity can have a malicious effect when the person behind an aggressive Tweet or comment feels physically distant from the recipient. Children should realize how their digital messages could be perceived and interpreted by a wider audience.

Try this:

This is an opportunity for parents to teach their children how living out their values and ethics also extends to their online behavior. When did you need to stop yourself from sending an angry or impulsive message? Or have you ever over-shared something you didn’t want to work colleagues to see? What was the outcome and what did you learn? 

Remember to tell kids to pause before they post.

 

Could it help or hurt your ability to reach your goals?

A positive online reputation is now an integral part of achieving many goals in a young person’s life. More than two-thirds of colleges (68%) say it’s “fair game” to check an applicant’s social media accounts, according to a Kaplan Survey.

Talking about the impact and the technological tools that children have at their disposal can be what makes a difference in the long run. As children try out for a team, a play or especially when applying for college, they should be aware of how their digital representation lines up with their goals.

Try this:

Lend a guiding hand when talking about what your child envisions for her or his future. If your child’s online image doesn’t line up with who they want to become, help them understand why it’s hurtful, or why that picture or post may inaccurately reflect them for years to come. Help them understand that with tremendous connectivity and information comes big responsibility.

Let them know it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they are learning from them along the way.

When your child gets a mobile device and at what age is between you and your child, but a conversation like this should be early and ongoing. The conversations between parents and teenagers surrounding the pitfalls of online activity are as important as any other educational conversation you will have with them. The same great parenting rule remains: Be the person your child can talk—or text—to about anything. When it comes to sharing online, character still counts.

This article was authored by staff at the Family Online Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to empower parents to confidently navigate the digital world with their kids. It was originally posted on their Good Digital Parenting blog and republished here with permission.

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

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Should children under 2 look at screens?

Use common sense—and some new research—to decide what’s right for you and your baby.

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For years, the parenting rule of thumb in the smartphone age was to keep children under the age of 2 away from screens. Phones, tablets, laptops—shield your baby from the glow. But, as technology has become more ingrained in everyday life, research and parenting are evolving along with it. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its guidelines, loosening the restrictions on screens for toddlers. 

“It doesn't do anybody any good to just be told what not to do,” Chip Donohue, director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center at the Erikson Institute, says. “Nobody's saying no screens. In our world, it’s impossible to do that.”

FaceTime with grandma

There was a time when parents would have done anything to keep screens away from their babies. But practices—and even recommendations—on the topic are changing. In late 2016, the AAP tweaked their long-held recommendation that parents keep children under the age of 2 away from screens.

The AAP is the bedrock and benchmark of parenting research. “Their stuff is evidence-based,” Donohue says. “If they don't have the evidence, they aren't going to say it.”

The AAP still recommends that children and babies under 18 months “avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting.” And this seemingly minor video-chatting tweak dovetails with what some surveys have found: “FaceTime Doesn’t Count.” Families, surveys found, don’t consider video chat screen time.

And experts agree. There’s been some investigación, Donohue says, that shows that in a socially contingent interaction—say, your 16-month-old baby video chatting with her grandma on your smartphone—toddlers can learn language. “Which is a huge finding because we have 25 years of research that suggests that screens don't teach toddlers language,” Donohue says. “This was a breakthrough because it suggests that the screen becomes a mediator only. That's not a screen experience. It's not passive—it's grandma. And language is being learned in a family context from a loved one.”

Activities that strengthen a baby’s language skills with video chat from the study:

  • Mirror the baby’s behavior by clapping or waving.
  • Respond in real time to the baby’s words or gestures rather than sending a recorded video saying hello.
  • Read a bedtime story.

When it’s part of the conversation—not the focus

Screen use can become problematic when it turns into a habitually passive exercise—plopping a tablet in front of your child to keep them quiet and leaving the room; turning on a mindless app. This is not a new phenomenon. But, if you’re intentional about your use of screen time, it can be a net positive for your child.

“We find that a lot of parents are using technology today just as parents used a television back in the ’60s and ’70s, and before that, the way parents used the radio,” Dr. John Grohol, a psychologist and founder of PsychCentral.com, says. “Parents have been using technology to help babysit kids for a very long time.”

But screen use, just like TV, can work as both an educational tool and help foster family bonding. Donohue is a self-professed sports nut, and his daughter became one because she embraced it from a very young age. But, he didn’t just sit her next to him on the couch and yell at the umpire while his toddler stared into space.

“There was conversation and there was an explanation of what was going on and there was excitement when my team did well,” he explains. “It became a more social interaction. It wasn't just sit quietly and stare at the screen. And I think that's the number one thing for parents to understand. We have all this new media, all this digital media that is, in fact, highly interactive. How do we use it well?”

The experts agree: Intention is the answer. Be deliberate. Interact with your child, whether it’s FaceTime with an uncle or an educational game on a tablet. “If we're clear with kids about, ‘Hey, we're going to play the game for a few more minutes and then we're going to turn it off and we're going to play a game together,’” Donohue says, “that's a different—and more positive—experience.”

About that work email…

Children are impressionable. This applies to technology as much as it does table manners. According to Donohue, adult media behavior and usage is an equal part of the equation: “I'm more concerned about how the parent uses media than the child. How an adult uses media in front of their young child teaches the child how to use media.”

That doesn’t mean your 16-month-old is going to pick up your phone and start sending work emails. But behavior is learned, and technology can disrupt parenting.

“It's as much about what the parent does as what they say,” Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Harvard University, says. “Because ultimately, that will teach them to be deliberate and mindful in their use of media in the future.”

The child may still be young, but even under the age of 2, they are observant.

“So if the parent is obsessed with the screen—if the parent can't stop looking at the text messages as they come in or interrupts a playtime with their child to go check their email,” Donohue continues, “then that's more problematic to me, because that's getting in the way of the relationship. In other words, because I don't put my screen down and I don't put my phone away, even when I'm playing blocks or doing art with my kids, the potential for an interruption is so high.”

Occasional use is not dependency

Parenting is not easy. It’s prioritized chaos. And very occasional passive use of a tablet is a byproduct of juggling parenting with a hectic schedule. But, the key is that it’s very occasional. It should not be a regular thing.

The key here is to understand that anything in occasional use isn’t going to hurt your child or infant in any way,” Grohol says. “So, if you occasionally need to sit an infant in front of a tablet to watch a video or something, there’s no evidence that that would result in any problems with the child.”

Donohue put a fine point on it. “I think we also have to give adults a bit of a break here,” he says with a laugh. “We all grew up with the television, we probably all watch way too much television, we probably watched passive TV a lot. We survived—we did OK.”

Remember: Every family—and every child—is unique

“Every child is different,” Dr. Rich says. “And every child's needs or the demands on them in their life are different.”

Parents should treat research and anecdotes as guidance. Take it all with a boulder-sized grain of salt. There are times for screens and there are times for no screens—it’s up to parents to decide what’s best for their family and each individual child.

“I think parents need some help really thinking about how to make choices that are theirs, that are honest and authentic for their own family,” Donohue says. “But these are guidelines, and they're important to pay attention to and they're smart people thinking hard about these issues, but they don't live inside the walls of your house or apartment; they didn't give birth to your kids.”

This article was authored by staff at the Family Online Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to empower parents to confidently navigate the digital world with their kids. It was originally posted on their Good Digital Parenting blog and republished here with permission.

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Balancing trust and safety: How parents can monitor their teen’s digital activity

Too much restriction can have a negative effect, studies show. Strive for a mix of supervision, guidance and nonintervention.

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Today’s digital parents are learning to walk a tricky line: give their teens privacy and freedom to express themselves while also protecting them from the potential dangers of the internet. Many parents feel it’s important to monitor or limit their child’s internet behavior—from browsing to social media—until they reach a certain level of maturity or media literacy. In 2018, 58% of parents in a Pew Research Center survey said they looked through a teen’s calls or text messages. That’s up from 48% percent in 2016.

With devices so prevalent in teens’ everyday lives, researchers have identified new ways to keep teenagers safe while preserving room to explore and learn.

Not everything happens on Facebook

The potential for unmonitored and unlimited interactions can make it difficult for parents to screen what their teens see. Even if parents take steps to limit their child’s browsing capabilities, inappropriate apps and websites can still be accessed with a friend.

But, understanding the nuances and potential dangers of popular apps and platforms can help build a sensible monitoring strategy. Service provider or third-party tracking programs and apps, such as WebWatcher, allow parents to monitor and catalog what teens are viewing.

And while Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are everywhere, it’s important that parents have some familiarity with the other apps teens are using. Common Sense Media flags GroupMe, Kik Messenger and WhatsApp as other potentially dangerous online spaces because they allow teens to hide conversations and talk to older teens or users over the age of 16. The lesson? Media literacy is as important for parents as it is for teens.

"Parents can micromanage their child’s accounts and internet usage, but that may set up an environment of resistance and distrust."  

Raychelle Lohmann author of The Bullying Workbook for Teens

Proactively tracking and limiting access

Neary six in ten parents (58%) monitor their teen’s web behavior or look through their phones, according to the Pew Research Center. But only 52% of parents use parental controls to restrict access.

Monitoring a teen’s online life may give parents peace of mind, but it is by no means a silver bullet. Research from Dr. Gustavo Mesch, a professor of sociology and the rector of the University of Haifa and a specialist in teen interactions with the internet, suggests that parents who tightly monitor their children in an attempt to minimize unsafe online behavior may actually achieve the opposite effect. His study found this lack of freedom can drive teens to hide risky behaviors.

Dr. Mesch asked parents to try three different strategies for monitoring browsing habits: supervision, guidance and nonintervention (i.e., taking a hands-off approach). When surveyed parents actively and judiciously monitored browsing behavior and put stringent restrictions in place, teens were more likely to “engage in risky online behavior.”  

Teens know the loopholes

“Many teens are more tech savvy than their parents,” says Raychelle Lohmann, a counselor focused on teen behavior and cyber habits, and author of “The Bullying Workbook for Teens.” Some of the tools at teens’ disposal, which parents may not fully grasp, are “online privacy settings, disabling cookies [and] clearing browsing history,” Lohmann says. Teens generally can find a way to access the content they want, and the more pressure parents put on them, the more likely they are to try and hide their behavior.

“Parents can micromanage their child’s accounts and internet usage, but that may set up an environment of resistance and distrust,” Lohmann says.

The breakneck pace of technology also can put savvy teens one step ahead of monitoring apps. Lohmann notes that teens can set up “smoke screens” or install apps designed to hide objectionable behaviors from parents.

Some parents may feel it’s best to limit which devices their teens can use or only allow access when they reach a certain age. Lohmann suggests using age as a milestone for when parents can remove the digital training wheels, unless the parent suspects an older teen of “engaging in harmful behavior.” Though there are no hard and fast rules or maturity milestones, Lohmann recommends common sense—and common decency. “Monitoring a 13-year-old would look different from monitoring a 17-year-old,” she says.

Bridging the gap between safety and freedom

Aside from checking browser history, parents can set up a fair system for how teens use their devices and how to best monitor their behavior while maintaining a sense of freedom. Lohmann suggests putting it in writing.

Think of it this way: It’s all about training a teen to navigate the internet safely, smartly and with a certain level of skepticism. Every teen is unique and requires a different approach. There is no perfect or exact age to set a teen free. Rather, it’s about gradually granting more freedom as it is earned.

“Just as parents wouldn’t toss their teens the keys to the car without any background knowledge of how to operate the vehicle,” Lohmann says, “they shouldn’t toss them a device without any knowledge about how to properly use it.”

“An acceptable electronic usage contract is a great way to document expectations,” she says. “Parents need to establish clear expectations, set the rules and stick to them.” 

As your teen matures and gains a higher level of media literacy, they should be granted access to new sites, apps and responsibilities. It should be gradual, and it will differ for each teen. “I believe in treating teens with respect,” Lohmann says.

And a word of encouragement: You’re doing a good job at helping your teens stay safe. Roughly six in ten teens (59%) say parents are doing an excellent or good job at addressing cyberbullying, according to the Pew Research Center survey.

For more information, check out these articles and resources on how to be a good digital parent.

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

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Teen driver safety: 5 ways to curb distracted driving

By: Neil Mitchell

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It’s not that Ashley Parson doesn’t trust her 16-year-old son—she does.

When she installed a Verizon Hum tracking device on the car he’s driving, she was simply taking a precaution.“I don’t even think he thinks about it, honestly,” Parson says about the tracking device.

From her phone, she can check her son’s safety score based on the number of times he takes a sharp turn, drives fast, brakes hard or hits the accelerator. Right now, Michael has a good safety score: 80 out of 100.

“It just lets me know his safety habits and where he is,” she says.

This proactive approach to parenting in our increasingly tech-engaged lives is encouraging—especially when compared to the data. Many parents think they have it covered. According to Magid’s annual Mobile Lifestyle Study, only 20% of adults ages 18-74 with children in their household are “very concerned” with the amount of time children spend using a smartphone. This is considerably less than the 36% of adults without children who are “very concerned” about the amount of time children in society spend using a smartphone.

This “more concerned about the other guy” mindset is worrisome, and when it’s applied to young drivers, it could be dangerous. According to the Center for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for American teens. National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 20-26, 2019, is now celebrating its 12th year, originally initiated to raise awareness of this sobering statistic and to prevent teen automobile fatalities.

But there are a few tech tweaks you can make to minimize your teen’s distracted driving with a phone—and help you keep your own eyes on the road, too.

1. Enable auto replies to texts while driving
Texting while driving is a widely recognized smartphone distraction and parental concern, but your phone has settings to block texts while driving. To change settings on your specific device, search for instructions related to “auto reply,” “driving mode” or “do not disturb” and your device name.

2. Employ safe driving features in Hum by Verizon
Connected car technology advancements include practical tools that help create responsible drivers. Hum by Verizon is one easy-to-install app example. Going beyond the basics, Hum offers a variety of innovations to make your teen’s driving experience safer. In addition to rescue features such as roadside assistance and crash detection, Hum features a personal Safety Score that assesses your teen's driving behaviors and calculates factors such as speeding, hard braking and sharp cornering.

3. Introduce your kids to safe driving content
Viral content and videos about teen driver safety on Buzzfeed, YouTube, Vice or other sites familiar to your teen can help create a memorable image as well as legitimize in their eyes the severity of the issue. Sharing safe driving content with your teen is a great way to grasp their attention and instill safe driving behavior.

4. Weave tech distraction into your driving instructions:
Getting behind the wheel those first few times is often stressful for teens. Taking the time to recognize and address tech distractions during these initial driving experiences—especially when you are providing instruction to your kids—can have a lasting effect on fledgling drivers. Turning off the phone or engaging safe driving settings during driving instruction could establish safe driving habits for life.

5. Model good driving habits for your kids
Lessons help, but demonstrations of healthy driving habits truly establish a foundation. If you don’t use your phone while driving, your kids will absorb this—it’s that simple.

Parents are the best role models of healthy tech usage and teen driver safety, so to ensure our children are informed, responsible drivers, share the knowledge and strategies to help them resist the urge to text or engage with their phones while driving. It is our hope that these tactics will establish lifelong—and life-protecting—smartphone behavior.

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

About the author(s): 

Neil Mitchell is media consultant, focused on digital and online safety. He has been working with Verizon on online safety issues for over a decade. Follow me: 

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Teach your child to identify reliable websites and sources

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Knowing how to spot a reputable web site is empowering—and an important step in developing your teen’s information literacy.

Does your child know how to swim? Are they in the process of learning? We can all agree that learning to swim is an essential life skill, something our wellbeing depends on. What if learning to identify good and valuable online resources was another crucial life skill that our well-being depends on? While it may not be a life or death situation, the ability to differentiate facts from fiction contributes to our success in school, helps foster better conversation and can prevent us from looking foolish. It’s become particularly important as digital publishing allows anyone to publish online—facts, news, satire and opinion—for better or for worse.

                                                       ____________________________

"To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use [it] effectively."

  The American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy
                                                      _____________________________
 

Reliable sources matter

From an academic perspective, your child needs to be able to cite good quality sources in their work. And for the 3 million Americans who don’t have access to Internet at home, more students are using their phones to do their homework. So, they need to be able to demonstrate that they are able to find information of value. 

For security, it is important to identify reliable and safe sites to prevent identity theft or unsafe interactions online. Financially, we need to be able to go to a site and assess the tone to know right away that something isn’t right or that we are about to be scammed.

Learning to identify reliable sources can be a great way for you and your child to spend time together online­. After all, most kids will use any excuse to get on a phone or tablet. Just like swimming, it takes practice, it is a learned skill and it takes time to train your mind to process the indicators. 

A good place to start

Here’s what I suggest: Start looking at resources online with your child at a young age. Point out to them what makes a site good and what makes it questionable. In your own time, seek out some sites that are not reliable (but not full of adult content and language) to take your child to those sites as well. You can’t expect them to learn or spot red flags if you are only showing them trustworthy sites. 

 TIP: Look for news sources with a widely published code of ethics and reputation for setting the record straight when a reporter makes a mistake.

 

Apply it to their everyday life

As your child gets older, spend some time reviewing the sources they are citing in their homework and reports. Ask them questions about the sources, such as more about the author or the organization. When they relay stories about fellow classmates at the dinner table, challenge whether they have proof or are just passing along hearsay and rumors. Keep them on their toes and make sure they took the time to examine where they get their information. 

How to know if a website is a reliable source

Below are basic indicators and questions your child can consider when evaluating online sources:

The URL

Just looking at the address of a website can give a lot of insight to how much value it has. The extension at the end of the website (example.com) indicates what category the website falls under. 

  •  .org: An advocacy website, such as a not-for-profit organization.
  • .com: A business or commercial site.
  • .net: A site from a network organization or an Internet service provider.
  • .edu: A site affiliated with a higher education institution.
  • .gov: A federal government site.
  • .il.us: A state government site. This may also include public schools and community colleges.
  • .uk (United Kingdom): A site originating in another country (as indicated by the 2 letter code)

Referrals and links

Always ask yourself about how you found the source. Were you directed to the website by a teacher? Did you come across it on a site that you already know is valid? Or did you come across it on a random social media? Is it a link in an email from someone you know or a forwarded email from someone you don’t know?

TIPHover your cursor over a link before you click on it. The destination URL will appear in the bottom left of most web browsers. If it looks different than the link, don’t click it.

Identify authority

Consider who is supplying the information. Who wrote the content or article? What do you find if you do a separate search on just their name? Do they provide links to their social profiles or to additional work? If so, those may provide clues to their intentions and credibility.

To further educate yourself and your child, check out this list of resources from the American Library Association about how to advocate for and find good resources online. 

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

This article was authored by staff at the Family Online Safety Institute, a nonprofit organization that works to empower parents to confidently navigate the digital world with their kids. It was originally posted on their Good Digital Parenting blog and republished here with permission.

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Hello Verizon Community Members,

Welcome to your first of many Community Manager Blogs! With the migration to the new platform and the full redesign behind us, our team has been fully immersed in getting existing members situated, new members onboarded and everyone engaged!

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We are excited to announce that after a year of hard work on behalf of the Verizon Community Team​ we are finally launching the new Community tomorrow afternoon (2/19/19). Tonight at 5pm EST we will be setting the community into read only mode so you will still be able to search for solutions and read content as you always have you just will not be able to login to your account and new users will not be able to register during this time. Once the community is set to read only we will kickoff the migration, which entails a full redesign of the look and feel, brand new information architecture and revamping of the current ranking structure.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Looking for a new fitness activity challenge? What better way to start than on National Take the Stairs Day? Yesterday was the perfect holiday to jump start your New Year’s resolutions and work towards your fitness goals.

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Community Manager

Looking for something to give your workout or party a boost? We have the latest new tech with these accessorios to get the most out of your smartphone o tablet. Use the Fitbit Charge 3 and Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM together for the ultimate workout experience. Get healthy in 2019 by tracking your fitness while listening to your favorite music.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

We are are so here for 2019, especially with all the exciting new things coming for the Verizon Community!

 

Keep a look out for all the updates and news in the upcoming blog posts.

 

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

"May your home always be too small to hold all your friends." - Irish Proverb

 

Happy Holidays December GIF - HappyHolidays December GIFs

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Nothing shows off your love for the holiday season like an ugly Christmas sweater. What better way to celebrate than on National Ugly Sweater Day?

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

We know that life around the holidays can be hectic, so why not make it easier? With the Google Home Hub you can do it all: play music, watch Youtube videos, create grocery lists, and more! 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

We’re midway through December and holiday music is playing almost everywhere we go.  Here are some of our favorite holiday albums to get you in the spirit!

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

In 2008 the Apple App Store launched, changing the way we interact with our smart devices instantly. By providing access to over hundreds of apps, Apple was able to jump start the app craze. Even though apps (short for software applications) are still fairly new, they’ve become integral to our everyday lives

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Wishing a happy Hanukkah to those who are celebrating and a joyous and healthy holiday season to all!

 

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Community Manager
Community Manager

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and you know what that means: Holiday Movies. With Christmas approaching, there are plenty of great Holiday movies on TV. If you haven’t already, add these classics to your holiday viewing, as these movies have stood the test of time:

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

The holidays are all about festivities and parties, which means getting the most out of your smartphone o tablet. It’s also the season for giving so why not find all the right gifts, all in one place? With these accessorios you can get all that and more.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Looking to find a way to revive your Thanksgiving leftovers? We found the best recipe to help with that. Using the turkey and stuffing you can create the easiest meal prep plan for the week---stuffed peppers. This is also a great way to start thinking of recipes for the leftovers from future holiday meals.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

The holiday season has officially begun and that means time is going to fly by and 2019 will be here before you know it. That’s why we wanted to give a big thanks to all the users of the Verizon Community. We have new changes coming in the New Year for the Verizon Community and Verizon as a whole. We can’t wait to share more when it’s time.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Just in time for National Take a Hike day we’ve picked a few of our toughest, smartest, and most versatile accesorios tecnológicos for you. Whether it’s tracking your fitness goals or being in the loop with life’s daily tasks we know you need a dependable device.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Verizon gives thanks to Veteran’s for all that they have done and continue to do.

Veteran’s Day honors those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Each year on November 11th, at the eleventh hour the annual ceremony is held at the Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the holiday. However there are not enough days in a year to give thanks to all those who have served.Verizon continues to give thanks to our Veteran’s and their military families by offering special discounts and service options.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

It's Book Lover’s Day and I couldn’t be more eager to settle in with a good book now that the cooler weather is here. For some of you, staying inside could mean playing board games with the family or watching movies with friends. But I find that a book can be a great way to pass the time and expand your mind

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

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Here are our last picks for the Halloween movie list: House of Horrors!

We've chosen a few movies from the slasher classics, to the newer shockers, either way we hope you enjoyed all 31 Halloween movies! Don't worry we've included some for the kiddies.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Happy Franken Friday!

“If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!”

- Mary Shelley

Friend Frankenstein GIF - Friend Frankenstein GIFs

 

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Looking to create a hands free home while making it safe and sound? We have the sharpest new tech with these 2 accessorios to get the most out of your smartphone o tablet.

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

Looking for ways to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Dog Month? Read on for why this month is a great way to getting involved. 

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tiffanyn_vzw
VZ Employee Emeritus

"Live every day like its Taco Tuesday!"

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