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The new swing of things: your back-to-school safety guide

It’s an exciting new school year — and like all fresh starts, a little uncertain. We’re looking forward to all that fall brings, and put together a handy guide to help you get into the swing of things now that we’re back in session.

Location Safety

As your family members go every which way throughout the day, stay in step with location safety features like Place Alerts. Get an automatic heads up when they leave and arrive at your most visited spots. 

Facts of Life: Life360 members love Place Alerts — to the tune of 100 million per day!

Here are some more ways to stay safe wherever you go:

Tips:

  • Know where to be picked up. If you plan to pick up your child, designate a regular place that’s easy to access and is a safe spot for your child to wait.
  • Walk with friends. If your tween doesn’t want to be picked up, suggest they walk with a friend or a group. Safety in numbers!
  • Have a pre-established route. When going for an early morning or evening jog, have a pre-established route that your family knows. This way, your loved ones will know something is up if you stray far from your designated path. 
  • Obey proper crossing rules. Make sure your child obeys the rules of the road and pays special attention when crossing the street. Avoid listening to headphones or playing with phones in heavily trafficked areas like parking lots.
  • Coordinate schedules. Make time for a family calendar session when you can all sit down together and arrange your upcoming activities for the week.

How Life360 can help you stay safe no matter where you are:

  • Set Place Alerts for your office, kids’ school, and after-school activities, so you and your family members can easily coordinate comings and goings.
  • Create a carpool Circle and be alerted when your child’s ride is out front to pick up. 
  • Send an SOS Alert to your Circle members and emergency contacts when you’re feeling unsafe and need help.

Driving Safety 

Life360 members are logging way more miles on the road this year, with travel up 50% from 2020. And we’re standing by for every mile! But it’s still good to remind teens to keep their eyes on the road. 

Distracted driving quadruples the risk of an accident. In fact, 88% of all car crashes involve using a phone — and drivers aged 16-22 tend to use their phones while driving the most. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you or your teen gets behind the wheel.

Tips:

  • Don’t have a party in your car. Once your teen receives their license, limit the number of friends they can have in the car when driving. Each additional friend is distracting and makes an accident more likely.
  • Get situated. Set your music and mirrors up, then either mount your phone for navigation or hide it in the glovebox to avoid any distractions on the road.
  • Manage emotions. Remind your teen to take five if they’re feeling angry or sad. Driving is not the time to work out intense feelings.
  • Make your expectations clear. The CDC recommends writing out a teen-parent driving contract. Check out the CDC website for a sample template.

Watch the road. Tough road conditions can be challenging for even experienced drivers. Extreme weather, hectic rush hour traffic, and even driving in new places require undivided attention and extra sharp reflexes.

How Life360 can help you drive safely:

  • Individual Driver Reports help you coach your teen driver to become a safer motorist
  • Roadside Assistance keeps you covered in case of flat tires, no-starts, or mechanical problems
  • Crash Detection protects your family by notifying your Circle and emergency contacts if a member was in a collision and shares their location. This life-saving feature is free for all our members.
  • 24/7 Emergency Dispatch sends immediate help to the site of a collision, making sure your Circle members are cared for when they need it most

Digital Safety

We’re all online more than ever, and the new school year is no exception. We’re shopping for school supplies, doing homework assignments, signing up for teams, taking lessons, and joining groups — all from our computers and phones.

So it’s no surprise that identity theft is on the rise.  In fact, it happens every 2 seconds in the US, with 1 in 3 families experiencing identity fraud — including 1 million kids each year.

That’s why we take it seriously. Here are ways to protect your family’s sensitive info online.

Tips:

  • Keep passwords secret. Use a unique and strong password for every single online account. A password manager like 1Password can help keep track of your passwords more safely and effectively.
  • Avoid buyer’s remorse. You’ll rest easier if you only purchase or download from secure sites.
  • Don’t be an open book. Be wary of giving and sharing personal information online — especially with those you don’t know.
  • Check twice. Regularly review and turn on your privacy settings.
  • Teach your child to practice safe browsing. Children’s online games can be full of strange pop-ups and ads. Steer clear.
  • Encrypt your connection. Use a virtual private network (VPN) when you’re on public Wi-Fi, like the school library.
  • Keep up with the times. Be sure to update your computer and mobile software regularly.
  • Beware of email scams. Be suspicious of official-looking emails that contain links or attachments to view details. Often scammers will imitate financial institutions and try to access your personal information.

How Life360 is helping keep your family safe online:

  • Identity Theft Protection Alerts tell you when there have been changes to your personal information online. We protect more than 2 million members’ identities and send over 127,000 identity protection alerts every week. 
  • ID Theft Restoration includes over 60 on-call experts ready day and night to investigate and restore any member’s stolen identity. Nobody has time for personal identity fraud, which can take up to 6 months to restore by yourself. With the help of our trained specialists, the process only takes Life360 members about an hour and a half. 
  • ID Theft Coverage reimburses stolen funds up to $25,000 per person for Gold membership and $1 million per person for Platinum membership per year. 

As the pace of life speeds up and we start making plans, driving separately, and scattering far and wide, Life360 provides the ultimate, all-in-one safety solution for families. Want to hear more tips, stories, and articles from Life360? Join our community on our Facebook page. Get back out there and stay safe!

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