22 Provide Technology Guidelines and Limits Today’s youth are often more tech-savvy than their parents. Young people today, however, still need their parents to provide guidelines and set limits. Provide guidelines u Remind your child to never put personal information online (full name, age, address, phone number, school, favorite hangout). u Discuss what information is appropriate for social networking sites, and have your child show you his/her online profile. u Emphasize the importance of privacy. Access to your child’s profile should be limited to those on his/her friend’s list—and passwords should never be shared with anyone. u Discuss the fact that anything put on the internet becomes public—and stays there forever. Remind your child not to put anything online he/she would not want a parent, teacher, or college admissions officer to see. u Make sure your child knows that you expect him/her to use technology responsibly, and that he/she is never to post, send, or share anything that is inappropriate or hurtful to another. Set limits u Require all communication devices be turned off during dinner. u Use parental control software to filter inappropriate content, block sites, and/or monitor social networks. Check the privacy settings on your child’s cell phone and social networking sites. u If you’re concerned about your teen making late night phone calls and/or texts, consider requiring that cell phones be plugged in for recharging in your bedroom by 9:00 or 10:00 each night. u Have your child sign an Internet Safety Contract. (Several examples are available online.) Be a tech savvy parent so that you can help your child enjoy the benefits of technology, while minimizing the risks. For information on internet safety, go to www.wiredsafety.org or socialsafety.org.