What makes good practice when it comes to digital parenting? Answer: You do, if you're a parent or anyone with responsibility at any time for the wellbeing of youngsters.
Here's another answer: SPF. No, not sun protection factor, but Safety, Privacy and Fun. Combined, those ingredients are the recipe for the best online experience for kids.
A few months ago – when sun protection was a bigger issue than it is right now! – the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) launched what it calls a Digital Parenting Toolbox, a collection of all the best guidance on how to protect children online. It includes a set of fact sheets about popular apps and social media sites such as Facebook, Ask.fm, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and What's App.
Even though you may be a user of some of these yourself, you may not be aware of exactly how they work and how to alter privacy settings. With Facebook, for example, being "friends' with your kids or grandchildren doesn’t necessarily mean you get to see everything they post. Users have control over who can see all their content, FOSI points out in a downloadable factsheet, so if you're concerned about what they're posting, you need to sit down and talk with them about their digital reputation. Or, how about online bullying? Did you know that Facebook has a special hub site with guidance both for teens, parents or guardians and teachers on how to deal with this escalating issue?
Other downloadable items include an information pack, with a series of flashcards on digital citizenship.
The toolkit also outlines 7 steps to good digital parenting:
Talk early and often with your kids
Educate yourself about apps and other online activities
Activate safety features and other parental controls
Set ground rules for acceptable behavior
'Friend' and 'follow' them but don't stalk
Go online to explore with them, learn from them
Be a good digital role model for them.
The full toolkit can be accessed via the FOSI website at http://tinyurl.com/FOSI-parenting