Have you ever taken away your child’s cell phone, tablet, etc., and wondered how they were accessing the Internet? Parents have come to us after their child has been sending nude images or inappropriate text messages and wondered how their child could have done this after they have already taken away their electronic devices? Could these images have been taken beforehand? Could it be fraud? Well, you know that old iPhone 7 you put in your junk drawer when you upgraded phones? If it still turns on, it still has access to Wi-Fi. After talking to the children of these concerned parents, they told us their friends had given them an old phone/tablet laying around their house. These parents thought their kids were safe since they took away their electronics, but their kids were sneaking around with a device they didn’t know about, having inappropriate conversations with predators. It’s not uncommon for parents to share their Wi-Fi passwords with their children. However, it’s time to reconsider. Here are two tips you can implement today: 1. Change your Wi-Fi password. Do not write it down. Do not stick it on the fridge. Do not put it in a cute picture frame displayed for everyone to see. If your child needs access to the Internet, take their device and input the password yourself. Whether your child is being punished for something they’ve done or protected from the dangers of the Internet, if they find access to a working smart device, they will still be able to access the Internet. That includes social media, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google, you name it! 2. If you want more control over your Wi-Fi, log into your router to see what devices have access to the Internet. Make sure you know every connected device. You can also control the time the Wi-Fi can be used. If you do not want your child to have Internet access after 9:00 pm, you can set that control.
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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.