The fact is, we parent differently online than we do in "real life". The problem is that "online life" is now part of our children's "real life". The separation that existed for us does not exist for them. Where we are socially and culturally has not kept pace with technological development. We have had thousands of years of social and cultural history to teach us what works and what does not work as parents. The onset of the internet and social media has happened so rapidly that we don't have the same tool set for online parenting.
It is the mission of the Institute for Internet Safety to change this dynamic forever and to develop the tools parents need for effective online parenting. We strive for a world where we will never see headlines like these again:
The Institute for Internet Safety is the accepted leader in online safety, oversight, education, and reputation management. We are the first independent online organization dedicated to the education of children and the protection of their future prospects, by incorporating advanced, proprietary, online scanning and reporting technologies via our Visual Web Scan reports.
While we were originally founded to help parents protect their children online, the Institute for Internet Safety now serves all vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.
Children need adult supervision. Our job as parents is to take care of our children and guide them to a successful adulthood. In all other aspects of their lives an adult is present - but not online. Every parent knows that children behave differently when adults are around - and children are aware of the fact that no one is watching them online. We give parents the tools that they need to solve this problem and change that dynamic.
As adults, we may have information posted about us, or by us, that we have forgotten or that portrays us in an unflattering light. There may be links to information about youthful indiscretions or mistakes left long in our past. The internet never forgets, and information posted on public networks can exist forever hampering our ability to move forward in our lives. We give you the tools you need to take control of your online identity.
For Parents & Adults:
Children growing up in today's online world are facing issues that their parents did not have to face. The collective computers of the internet are not forgiving and do not forget. That momentary lapse in judgment that many young people experience, can now be recorded and kept forever, shaping and changing a person's life, long into the future.
The news is full of stories about young people whose lives have been forever altered by a mistake that was shared with the world. College admissions officers and potential employers are rejecting applications every day due to information that is found online.
IISafety takes a multi-pronged approach to dealing with this pressing issue. In designing our systems, we thought about how we nurture our children and guide them to adulthood and identified 3 simple steps.
- Education: We teach our children - how to tie their shoes, how to make the bed, and later how to drive.
- Oversight: We watch over them to see if they've learned what we've taught them, do they understand what we're trying to show them - does the lesson need to be reinforced?
- Problem Resolution: If they make a mistake, we help them by trying to correct their errors.
- We educate children on appropriate online behavior.
- Using our Visual Web Scan reports, we monitor online behavior and report back regarding what we find.
- If we find something: a questionable tweet, a drunken picture, we work with parents to deal with the issue.
Many parents are unaware of what their children are doing online - and many adults don't know what is posted about them, or what they might have posted and forgotten. Issues often come to light only when a problem arises. Until now, people have had to depend upon the limited technologies and tools that were available to them.
While it is possible for a person to conduct manual searches and spend countless hours sifting through hundreds of results, sign up for various alerts, and monitor the ever expanding world of social media accounts, all while managing their own, as well as educating and guiding their children's, online lives -- the reality is that most people do not have the time, energy and consistency to make these efforts with the regularity necessary to protect their children and prevent problems from occurring.
As all parents know, even good children are capable of making bad decisions. For this reason, we developed our programs to provide oversight capabilities for parents. We utilizes a proprietary software solution to consistently scan the internet for activity and create reports that can be reviewed to identify potential problems early so you can take steps to correct them.
While it is possible to debate the efficacy of various algorithms or methodologies, there are certain realities that remain inarguable sociological truths. One of these truths is that children, by and large, will behave differently when they know that no adults are watching.
In the 'online world', children largely (and correctly) assume that no one is watching with any degree of consistency. In every-day life, a parent might give their child some privacy when they are spending time with a friend or are having a party, but the same parent would be unlikely to leave the house and leave the children entirely unsupervised. The knowledge that an adult is present can often provide a beneficial deterrent effect. This dynamic did not exist in the 'online world', until now.
The facts outlined on this page helped to form the logical basis for the entry-level functionality we provide for you. By providing regular, consistent and thorough scanning, with your child's knowledge (and coupled with educational and guidance services that we provide), we effectively create a paradigm shift in how children learn to perceive their online lives. Rather than living an unfiltered life online with a 'wild west' or 'Lord of the Flies' mentality, your child learns to understand that their 'online lives' are simply an extension of their 'real lives' and not some separate intangible world without rules or consequences.
Read more about Visual Web Scan here.