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Saving Face Program Aims To Help Parents Keep Kids Safe Online

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Teenagers Cell Phones Texting

(credit: OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images, File)

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Southfield (WWJ) - With the start of a new school year just around the corner, how do you keep your kids out of trouble, not just in the classroom, but on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and smartphones? A local consulting company has put together a new social media guide for parents called “Saving Face For Parents of Tweens.”

Emily A. Hay of Hay There Social Media is one of the creators of the program, and she has lots of advice for parents who want to make sure kids aren’t doing things online that they would later regret.

An extended audio podcast of the interview is available.

“You talk about things like sexting, this topic that is everywhere, if you have set rules for your kids in the first place for things like format, that they are or are not allowed to post, then you can really prevent something bad from happening,” Hay said.

“For example photos, saying these are the kinds of photos you are allowed to post. ‘I want you to get my permission anytime you want to do a video. You’re not allowed to make a YouTube video unless we know about it ahead of time.’ And also, if you coach your child, you’re not allowed to just snap photos and share, then if someone tries to take a photo of them, they might be on guard in a good way to not pose for just anyone with a smart phone.”

What can parents do to see what their kids are doing online and monitor their activities?

“There are some things parents can do, like adjusting privacy settings, and making sure that everything the kids do comes to their parents’ email address,” she said. “There are also some red flags that parents should look for, like how many friends their children have on Facebook. There’s no reason why kids that age, between 8 and 13, need more than 50 to 100 friends. It can be a red flag if they have 200 or 300 friends. Or they went from 100 friends to 900 friends overnight. That’s just inviting trouble for the child to have that many online interactions.”

The program called “Saving Face for Parents of Tweens” packages seven principles of tricks, and tips and things parents need to be aware of, to help them prepare themselves and their child and keep them from getting into problems.

Get more information at haytheresocialmedia.com/savingface.

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