Internet Safety Month & U.S. Cellular’s Family Protector App

Did you know that June is Internet Safety Month? I admit that I didn’t, but I think it’s a great reminder since I spend a great deal of my time online and more importantly my teenager spends a majority of his time on the worldwide web. Even though we’ve discussed the importance of our Parent Child Agreement and why following guidelines and rules is such a high priority, I think it’s easy to get busy with everyday life and forget just how big the internet is and why it’s so necessary to always remember safety when surfing. If your kids are like mine they enjoy spending time online because it’s often the quickest and most convenient way to stay connected with their friends. From Instagram to Snapchat and YouTube to video games, our children are almost always connected especially if they have a smartphone. With so much information at their fingertips, it’s a really good idea for parents to sit down with them and have a conversation about what’s appropriate and not-so-appropriate for them to access. Even though I’m grateful that Nick has so many ways to connect with his friends, watch his favorite videos, and keep up with his favorite sports’ teams, it also makes me a little nervous sometimes. In honor of Internet Safety Month, U.S. Cellular has put together a great list of valuable tips to help parents monitor their kids’ internet activity while also encouraging responsible use of mobile devices and I’d love to share them with you!

  1. Negotiate a contract with your kidsThe Parent Child Agreement is a great guide to use when talking to your children about responsible usage of all mobile devices, but especially their phone. I love that you can personalize it based on your family’s needs and age of your child while still focusing on safety and good behavior.
  2. Download a safety app – U.S. Cellular’s Family Protector app is a wonderful option that offers you peace of mind while keeping your child safe on their smartphone. Not only does it allow you to keep track of your child’s location and view their texts and phone calls, but it also lets parents block sites or apps that they consider inappropriate. The best feature might be that a child can send an alert to their parents with one push of a button if they are ever in a scary situation, but aren’t able to call or send a text message.
  3. Talk openly about internet sharing – It’s so important to talk to our kids about what’s okay and not okay to share when they are online. Make sure they know to never give out passwords or share their private information such as their name, age, school, or home address. I also try to remind Nick to stick to communicating with friends and family and to never reply to a text or private message from an unfamiliar name or phone number no matter how “friendly” the sender might seem.
  4. Discuss photo sharing – This is one of the most important conversations I think we all need to have with our kids (and probably with ourselves). Make sure they know what’s appropriate to share and explain why they should never share a picture that might contain personal information about where they live or might be considered offensive.

I’m willing to bet that for the most part we’re all probably raising kids that are pretty smart and savvy when it comes to internet and smartphone usage, but it can never hurt to have an honest conversation every now and then to make sure everyone is on the same page about what’s safe, appropriate, and respectful.

Do you talk to your kids about internet safety? What do you think is the most important “rule” to follow when spending time online?

Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of U.S. Cellular’s Blogger Brigade, but thoughts are always my own. 



  1. You’re right, it never hurts to have a conversation. My kids are pretty good with their cellphone usage, in that, they hardly ever use it. Almost defeats the purpose of owning a phone. 🙂
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    • Ha! It does defeat the purpose a little, but give them time because before you know it you probably won’t be able to keep them OFF their phones. 😉

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says

    My kids are not allowed on the internet yet, but when they are, I want to make sure they are safe!

    • Oh, I remember those days when my kids were little and the internet was barely even a “thing”. At least you have a lot of personal experience for when the are ready/allowed to spend time online.

  3. U.S. Cellular’s Family Protector app sounds like a really great thing for parents!

  4. Mine are still a bit young for the conversations but I KNOW I’m all about this in a few years, or shudder, even earlier.
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    • And I’m sure you’ll be armed with more information than they will want to hear by the time they’re ready for the conversation. 🙂

  5. I allow a few of my kiddos online. But, not out of my eye shot and I monitor everything. It NEVER hurts to be as safe as possible especially online!

    • It’s so true that it’s always good to be safe, especially when kids are older and we want to give them freedom without having to monitor every thing they do.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing, I didn’t realize June was internet safety month. I allow the kids to get online but I monitor the sites they visit. I want them to know how to use the computer but I also want them to know the importance of staying safe online so I talk to them often about it.

    • It’s so great that you’re at least exposing them to the internet! There’s so much for all of us to learn WITH our kids when it comes to being safe and respectful on the internet.

  7. My kids have had to sign an agreement to use the Internet at school. Here they are in an area where I can see what they are doing at all times.
    Better safe than sorry!

    • Yes! My kids have always had to do that at school as well (plus many sites are blocked in the school), but good for you for keeping a close eye at home.

  8. Debbie Denny says

    That sounds like a good app. Always pays to be safe.

  9. I’d definitely have to go with a safety app if I were raising kids in this age. How many people can view the photos they share online would also be a topic of discussion.

    • I seriously think that photos are probably the biggest thing to talk about, especially with teenagers. It’s frightening to think what people can do with what might seem like an innocent/fun Instagram post.

  10. My son has been on the internet for a few years due to his school going digital. It can get scaring.
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  11. I agree that you should be careful on what you allow Kids to see on the Internet. I think this is a great APP to help with that issue

  12. I completely agree with you that kids today are probably more knowledgable about being online than I am. But, we also have lots of open, honest conversations about potential dangers and appropriateness on social media and other online outlets!
    Jessica Harlow recently posted..Make fresh lemonade easy with the right lemon squeezer! #YAMOlemonSqueezerMy Profile

    • I think conversation is key. There is so much we can all learn together, but helping my kids be safe and always respectful is one of my highest priorities where the internet is concerned. And yes, my teenager has certainly educated me on a few things, too.

  13. Photo and video sharing is such an important topic. It’s only going to get more important now that Periscope is around! PEople can broadcast anything!

  14. we have chatted with our kids about what can happen but I probably think we have not delved deeply into this conversation. Our kids are tweens, but I think it is time – thanks for the great site.

    • It’s so much to think about and lot to discuss with our kids without overwhelming them. I think it’s great you even know it’s time for a conversation because it’s frightening how many parents don’t even realize the importance of talking about online safety. Good luck!

  15. Definitely with children there needs to be lots of protection for kids on the internet. Its just too much crazy stuff going on online right now!
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  16. WOW I never heard of this app but keeping kids safe online has to be a priority – it’s great to see a company step up.
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  17. The world of the internet can be a scary place. We are super careful what our little ones play and see on their tablets.

  18. Safety online is so important. I always talk to my boys about posting something they might later regret!
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  19. My kids are still very young so I have a few years before this is an issue for us. However, I am nervous for the to start posting things online and want to make sure I help keep them safe.
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  20. The U.S. Cellular’s Family Protector app sounds like a very good app. I am a strong believer of being involved with your kids internet usage.
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