The end of the school year brings an abundance of leisure time for many children.
Most parents know that their kids are drawn to electronic devices like bees to flowers anytime of the year. Summer’s increased free time usually means increased online time for children.
For busy, working parents it can be difficult to closely supervise their kids as they roam across websites where danger lurks. Here are some tips for parents of children who use the summer months to dive into the murky depths of the Internet.
Foremost is that a parent-child talk must be the first line of defense against online risks. Talk to your children about their online presence. It is vital that there be open communication between you and your child — communication that goes both ways.
If your child tells you about something upsetting or irregular that they have encountered online, don’t blame or scold them. That could result in their not telling you the next time such things happen.
Instead, help them avoid such problems in the future with gentle instruction. Take the time to try out the apps and online services that your child uses so you can assess whether there is risk involved with them.
Here is a list of Internet risks that children may encounter. Unfortunately, this list is incomplete and is only meant to spotlight those threats that occur with the highest frequency.SafeKids.com
Be aware that advertisers are tracking your children online as well. The Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has a free online guide that explains privacy issues, cyberbullying, stalking and other important aspects of online safety for children.
Find it and other useful information for parents at www.asrcreviews.org/category/caru/parents-corner/.