SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Children across the country and around the world will be getting tablets, smartphones and computers for gifts this holiday season. There are many ways parents can ensure that their kids are using these devices appropriately.

One of those ways is a Family Contract for Online Safety, which gets everyone in the family on board as to what it means to use today’s technology safely and smartly. This might include items like privacy, security and maintaining one’s reputation online.

My website has now developed separate pledges for kids because rules and policies might not work for younger children compared to teenagers.

For younger children, it’s important to focus on issues like not giving out personal information and not sending pictures without a parent’s permission. Also, they should not download or install software that may be harmful to a computer.

Teens need to be told to be respectful of themselves and others, which could include cyberbullying.

The website also focuses on the importance for parents not to overreact and to have conversations with their children to address issues rather than going by strict guidelines.

You can hear Larry Magid’s Tech Report Monday through Friday at 3:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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