SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the summer comes to an end, students across the country are gearing up for another fun-filled year of school. Unfortunately, for many students, the excitement vanishes as they become the targets of bullying, amplified by the proliferation of online and social media activities. To combat the sometimes-fatal results of bullying, states from New York to Hawaii are increasingly enacting and enforcing anti-cyber bullying and e-harassment laws that make parents liable and accountable for their children’s social activities. MamaBear, the global authority in mobile technology that helps protect and monitor kids online and offline activities, today released “e-empowering” tips for parents just in time for back-to-school.
A recent PEW Research study stated that 88% of teens now have access to a mobile phone. Technology has become the “digital generation’s” lifeline to the world – to reaching their peers, family and even friend-enemies. Nearly all teens (92%) go online daily and 87% never allow their smart phone to leave their side, leaving parents struggling to keep up with the online monitoring of their child. In fact, 1 in 3 parents (33%) stated that they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the past 12 months.
Digital technology and mobile usage is becoming ubiquitous among the digital generation. Additional findings of the research state:
- Teens send an average of 30 texts per day
- Many teens reported sending as many as 34 texts each day AFTER bedtime
- Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
- 71% of teens use more than one social network site
- 76% of teens use their smart phone camera to post on social media
“There’s a new digital layer of parenting, particularly as it relates to children’s online usage and social media activities. State laws are now enforcing fines and/or punishment to parents based on how their children behave on social media,” said Suzanne Horton, CEO of MamaBear. “It’s not about ‘Big Brother’ watching, rather we see MamaBear as a digital companion that is helping parents keep a ‘digital’ eye on their children in an ever-changing digital world.”
To help parents engage in a dialogue about digital activities with their child, MamaBear has compiled the following tips to help parents start the school year off on a positive note when it comes to navigating their child’s online, digital world:
1. New Laws Put Parents on the Line – States are passing laws that make parents accountable for their child’s social media activity. It’s important that you are aware of your state laws and that the tough conversations between teens and parents are held. The ‘I had no idea’ response will not fly and could land hefty fines and even jail time in some states.
2. Privacy Security Protects Everyone – Keep your personal information hidden! Parents should sit down with their kids and review what should be seen and by whom. Ensure your teen is clear that under no circumstance should they provide their passwords to any friend, teacher or babysitter.
3. Sharing Is Not Always Caring – When it comes to social media, less can be more! Teach your teen that if someone is asking for your information repeatedly, it should be a warning sign! Also, when sharing information or photos, encourage your teen to pause and ask – would you be OK with your grandma seeing this photo or post? If not, then chances are they should refrain from posting.
4. Lights Out, Phones Down – When your child was young, you looked to remove any distractions that would hinder them from falling soundly asleep. Instituting an updated family sleep policy of no phones in the bedroom once the child has “gone to bed” will help to mitigate any negative online activities and ensure a much sounder sleep, clearing any issues and bringing a different perspective in the morning.
5. Open Dialogue Brings Success for Everyone – Open communication is key to any relationship – and by open that means to put down the smart phone and have an actual conversation. With the rise in cyber bullying, it’s imperative that parents are aware of what’s on their child’s mind. If they feel weird or uncomfortable about something they saw or read online, they should feel comfortable coming to talk about it.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help – Parenting is hard and with the hours put in at the office, monitoring the variety of teens social media profiles is a job in itself. Luckily, MamaBear, the mobile monitoring application can offer parents peace of mind when it comes to monitoring. MamaBear monitors social media, provides location-based alerts, text messaging and more! For more information, visit MamaBear.com.
MamaBear is the leading-edge, mobile, all-in one parenting app that creates a private family communication hub, providing parents with an efficient way to communicate, locate, organize and protect their children with peace of mind in this complex social and digital media age. MamaBear provides parents with a powerful all-in-one safety and awareness tool that offers a unique set of social media monitoring features, family mapping, alerts and reputation management tools, as well as alerts to cyber threats toward their children. Moreover, it offers a private place for families to communicate and stay abreast of family activities such as kids’ team sports. The company has been recognized by CNBC as one of the “World’s Most Promising New Companies” and by the Kauffman Institute as one of “The 50 Promising New Startups.” MamaBear was recently chosen from 600 startups that exhibited at Silicon Alley by TechCrunch as one of a handful given the honor to exhibit in TechCrunch’s Startup Alley Highlights at this year’s 2015 Crunchies Awards in San Francisco. The MamaBear app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
CONTACT: Grace Chang Grace@themindshareagency.com (818) 689-5118