Building Better Digital Citizens

Co-Authored By HILARY SCHNEIDER, President of LifeLock, Inc. Originally published on the Huffington Post. 

Smart decision-making online is as important as looking both ways before crossing the street. The U.S. recognized its first official Safer Internet Day on February 11, led by With continued proliferation of the use of technology, the day marked an important time to celebrate and reflect on the role technology plays in our lives. It also stimulated discussion on the significance of encouraging safe, effective use of the Internet, social media and mobile devices, particularly among children and teens.

Research shows that among families with children age 8 and under, ownership of tablet devices has risen from 8 percent to 40 percent in just two years. Between 2011 and 2013, the amount of time children spent using mobile devices tripled. Additionally, 90 percent of teens report that they have used some form of social media and nearly 50 percent indicate that they have a smartphone.

At the same time, parents have expressed concern about how their children manage their online reputation. Nearly 70 percent of parents indicate that they are concerned about how their children's online activity might affect future academic or employment opportunities.

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Fun and Interesting Ways To Teach Your Child About Internet Safety

The internet has afforded children, some as young as preschool-aged, new and exciting ways to learn and to discover. It has also shown itself to be a platform through which online predators can slink undetected. The internet can be as dangerous as it is useful. For this reason, many parents enforce strict guidelines in terms of search time, websites and appropriate chat rooms.

This may not be the best approach. Restriction ultimately leads to rebellion. The objective here is to make internet safety training as interactive as possible, so that your child understands the risks associated with irresponsible behavior, has fun while learning, and makes the decision to reinforce those caveats in themselves while surfing with limited supervision.

Here are some fun ways to teach your children internet safety.


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Online Parenting: 10 Common Internet Scams Your Child Might Fall For


The world wide web can be a big, scary place for your kids. The most efficient way to monitor your child's online activity is through a parental intelligence system that will monitor and analyze their actions. Scams come a dime a dozen, but it's worse when they specifically target your children. You need to know what to watch out for.  Here are the 10 most common Internet scams your child might fall for:

1. Knockoffs

Kids love clothes, especially teenagers. They want to be trendy and have all the latest designer styles when they know they can't afford it. So scammers create ads for all these "discount" online stores that supposedly sell designer goods. However, designers do not license these companies to sell their goods, and all the products are fake. Let your children know not to be tempted by these online stores, because they are likely not what they advertise.

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Never Too Early to Teach Internet Safety for Kids

Yesterday my kindergartener came home and told me how much fun she had using the iPad at school. Their teacher taught them how to use an app that helped them draw letters in the proper sequence with their fingers. 

Lots of school districts are using iPads, Twitter, or Skype in the classroom. It's a bit of a debate, but I generally agree with integrating new technologies into education. Facebook and iPads are great mediums for educators to use to connect with their students, because these tools are inevitably going to be – and sometimes already are – an integral part of these kids' lives. Googling is a skill I think needs to be learned along with looking things up in a dictionary or encyclopedia.

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Internet Safety Tips for Parents and Kids: HTTP vs HTTPS

Those of you who have shopped online, use online banking, or have used Facebook may have see a padlock icon appear in your address bar, and may have noticed the address bar has turned green. This happens when your browser is using a secure or safe connection (HTTPS) to communicate with whatever site you are on. Whats the difference? It all has to do with your internet safety settings.

HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and its used for a majority of websites. Its safe and secure for your day to day browsing like surfing the web, reading blogs, checking your on your favorite sports team or watching videos. The extra "S" in HTTPS stands for "secure" and websites that use HTTPS want to ensure that the information you enter on their site remains private.

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Monitor Your Kids Internet Use Without Spying

computerSo you’ve had the Internet safety conversation with your child: no giving out personal information online, no talking to strangers in chat rooms, and no sending elicit photos or texts. What next?

As a parent, you need to monitor your child’s online activity to make sure that your teen or tween is actually following the rules you’ve already discussed. That’s not spying – it’s parenting.

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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