It’s one thing to bust into your kid’s diary and read it, but if your kids want the privilege of engaging in the cyber world, they need to understand that parents are justified in “spying” on them. Or are they? Depends on whom you ask and how far they go at “spying” on their kids.

2WFrankly It’s not spying at all and both kids and parents should get over it. It’s called parenting. My kids are still young, but as they get older there will be hardly a thing they do online that I won’t be aware of. The internet isn’t a right, it’s a privilege to someone under age. No 13 or even 17 year old of mine will be on it without being supervised. Same goes for passwords. I’ll have access to all of them. This may be far-reaching to some, akin to the ancient form of spying: listening in on the extension phone to a phone conversation between your kid and his buddy. But really, it’s simply being a parent.

Spying can also be a life saver. Kids are being bullied today like never before. And as a result, they are hurting themselves. And then there are all the illegal things they may be doing. These same acts can get them killed. In this case, knowledge is definitely power to keep your kids safe.

Parent believe and they are right that spying is “an invasion of privacy and a violation of trust.” If you get caught, your relationship could be sabotaged, this is true. So spy openly and honestly. Tell them. Show them. Remind them. If kids know you are watching, they are often less likely to do things they aren’t supposed to.

The element of surprise, however, may be a factor. It makes a world of a difference if, from an early age, the parent establishes with their children that there will be “spying,” vs. never discussing this concept with the kids, and then one day you get busted.

Don’t use the word “spy,” either. Instead say “monitor” and let your kids know

How do you balance protecting your kids and maintaining trust? Team up with your kids. Make family agreements and contracts that show transparency. This will go far is keeping a close eye on their safety and security.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

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