Joe and Beth have had a Living Room Workshop and bought What’s in Your Pocket? They are doing everything they can to protect their kids online. They have accountability software, filters, and they even sit down with their kids every now and then and talk about internet safety. It’s great…for a few months. Then, suddenly, during one of their family meetings Billy tells them he saw something he shouldn’t have. It bothered him pretty badly and the whole family is having to re-establish their plan.
It’s the same story over and over again. Mom and Dad get on a roll and tighten up their digital boundaries. Their kids adjust to the changes and begin to get used to having to ask to get on a device or to install a new app. One day, dad is busy or mom is headed out the door when Billy asks to install something. “The password is 657432.” mom says, and the whole wall comes crumbling down.
Your password is the 1st step to your digital security. It’s being a secret is tantamount to the success of your online safety strategy. Giving away your password during a moment of business or distraction is like grabbing that one precarious block on the JENGA tower and yanking it right out, causing the entire thing to crash to the table. You have to treat your passwords like they’re the proverbial straw that will break the camel’s back.
Maybe filters can have holes but accountability software steps in at that point and allows you to have your conversations. You could get some erroneous accountability reports here and there but you’ll get used to knowing what’s misleading code or tags and what could actually be inappropriate content. The password is the thing that keeps all of those settings in place. It’s what allows you to have the peace of mind to know that your child can’t and won’t re-set (intentionally or otherwise) anything to allow access to dangerous content.
Keep your passwords a big big secret. Don’t allow your kids to watch you enter it enough that they learn it (we have that problem with our seven year old daughter.) Be careful to keep your mind about you enough when you’re busy to stop what you’re doing and enter the password yourself. Or, instead of letting them access the device themselves when you can’t do it, just say no when they ask to install a new app or restart the time limit. Your kid should probably read a book instead anyway.