We live in a different world than our parents did. Raising children today means protecting them from inappropriate images and ideas being thrown at them from all forms of media when they may be too young to understand any of it. Technology has revolutionized everything from medicine to communications, but when it comes to our kids, it can sometimes do more harm than good.

1. Know Your Child's Passwords

You may think it's an invasion of privacy to check in your child's email, text messages, and Facebook account, but depending on your child's age and maturity, you really should. Between cyber bullying and pedophiles, checking up on your child's accounts has more to do with your distrust of the anonymous people online, than how much you trust your child. Let your child know that you expect to know all of his screen names and passwords and that you will be checking his accounts at any time, and often.

2. Use the Parental Controls

Most of our devices come with parental locks, but you have to take advantage of this feature in order for it to benefit your family. It can keep your child from accidentally (or maybe not so accidentally) stumbling onto inappropriate material.

3. Keep an Eye Open

Make sure that screen time, including TV, tablet, and computer, happens in a central location in the house. Your child will be less likely to access inappropriate material if you are walking around the room.

4. Make Them Earn It

Media time should be a privilege and not a right for your child. If he wants to be on the iPad or Kindle or watch TV, make it a reward for the completion of chores or homework. An easy way to keep him from sneaking behind your back with this, is to change the Wi-Fi password daily.

5. Don't Give In

Maybe you feel that your child is too young for a cell phone or tablet. Go with your gut. Just because all of his friends have one, doesn't mean he has to have one too. Studies show that cell phone access can be dangerous for kids, especially young girls.

6. Talk to Your Child

You and your partner will make the rules, but chat with your child about your expectations for his screen time and cell phone usage. You need to all be on the same page in order for this to work.

7. Talk to the School

Make sure you know the rules your child's school has in place regarding internet and cell phones. Are cell phones allowed on school grounds? Are children closely monitored when online? Are certain websites blocked on school computers? It's important not to make assumptions.

It isn't always easy to feel like you're the only parent with rules about social media and cell phones. And your kids might not be too happy with you. But taking control now will help your children avoid some dangerous situations they never saw coming.