Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, Inc. and mother of Marissa’16, spoke to the Parents’ Association (PA) on Nov. 15, 2011 about Internet safety for teens.
Safely Ever After, Inc. equips parents with tools to combat the numerous potential dangers of modern day technology, including but not limited to online predators and cyber-bullying.
The Safely Ever After, Inc. website, includes information on child sexual abuse and its prevention, Internet safety rules and other resources regarding modern-day media, such as “Cyberbullying 101” and tips to prevent sexting.
Fitzgerald distributed handouts to Marlborough parents entitled “Social Media and Teens: Our Kids’ Connected Culture” which provided parents with advice on how to protect their children on the Internet. Tips included creating a Social Media/Cyber Use Family Contract, restricting the child’s use of technology at night in order to eliminate potential distractions and creating a Facebook page in order to keep a watchful eye on your child. The handout also contained other outside resources such as numerous articles on social media by author Rachel Simmons, another recent Marlborough speaker, and Stacy Peña, founder of marketing consulting business, Rainmaker Communications.
Parents’ Association Co-President Winnie Mokri, mother of Clara ’14, said Middle School parents were the most eager to hear Fitzgerald speak.
“I think a lot of the kids get Facebook as soon as they turn 13, which is right when they start Marlborough, so parents were just flocking to [Fitzgerald],” Clara said.
Mokri, along with Co-President Susan Edelman, mother of Emily ’13 and Sarah ’16, said Fitzgerald largely focused on Facebook privacy settings.
Edelman mentioned Mark Zuckerberg’s recent personal Facebook mishap, when in early December 2011 private photos of Zuckerberg and his girlfriend were leaked to the public.
“Another thing [Fitzgerald] pointed out is that Facebook is frequently changing its privacy settings so you have to really be vigilant about updating them,” Edelman said. “I thought that was a good reminder.”
According to the Presidents of the PA, Fitzgerald’s objective in her visit was to familiarize parents with the social media world their children are so engrossed in as well as to provide some helpful Internet rules for parents to implement in their households.
“I think it’s really good parents know what’s happening on these websites,” Isabel’17 said.