Why is it important for parents to stay in control of their child’s Internet usage?
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is reporting a 28% increase in reports sent to the CyberTipline in 2020. (You can see the full statistics and more information on the CyberTipline here .)
Unfortunately, cyber crimes against children are increasing. As a parent, it is important to know what your child is doing on the Internet so that you can keep them safe. What apps are they using? Who are they talking to?
While there are many advantages to having endless access to communication, it is also important to know the risks. Predators are targeting children daily on communication apps like Facebook Messenger, Discord, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and so much more.
In a recent article, a mom allowed her child to download a new app. As a parent, she was very proactive in Internet safety. She attending cyber safety conferences and considered herself social media savvy, yet her child was victimized on this new app by a predator.
As much as parents equip themselves in safeguarding their children, it is important to stay in control by implementing the following tips:
1. Have continual conversations with your child. It is important your child understands the dangers of the Internet and that you, as the parent, are in control. Continue these conversations throughout their adolescence into their teen years. Create an open form of communication so that your child feels comfortable coming to you if a dangerous situation arises.
2. Set up an Electronic Contract. This is great for older kids who are just starting to use the Internet. Having a written agreement not only allows you to have a conversation with your child about your expectations, but also holds them accountable if they breach the contract. This will also teach them responsibility and accountability. If they break the contract, they will know the consequences.
The Safe Surfin’ Foundation has developed an electronic contract that will set boundaries and will help keep kids safe online. Click here to view the contract.
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The mission of the Safe Surfin’ Foundation is not only to protect youth from those who would do them harm, but pro-actively educating them in the safe and responsible use of today’s ever-changing technology. Together, we’re improving and saving lives. Help us continue educating kids online by donating today.