The most essential tool to keeping children safe is communication. A strong route of communication can help make kids safer as they are out and about in the world. Here are some tips to make sure everyone in your family stays safe and informed
1) Monitor internet use. Keep track of the sites children visit, and make sure they aren’t interacting with strangers in chat rooms. Even games can include a chat feature, so be aware! Ask your child to show you their favorite sites.
2) Be aware of Facebook. Although they are age limits, it’s very easy to circumvent them. If you child is old enough to have a Facebook, be their “friend.” Check their “likes” and security settings. You’d be surprised how much info is publicly displayed.
3) Talk about internet predators. Emphasize the importance of staying away from chat rooms, and never ever allow your child to meet someone they’ve met online in person.
5) Consider installing an internet filter. Several companies offer filters that monitor and record which sites your child visits. There are many versions, so choose what works best for you.
6) Listen for the trends. The “latest” site might be targeting youth for exploitation.
7) If you find obscene or inappropriate material on the internet, call your provider! The more calls they get, the greater the chance they can do something about it.
FBI Child ID App for Android and iPhone: Store important information about your children and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to offer to authorities on the spot.
Smartphone Safety Handout: Coalition-made info sheet that explains smartphone safety for parents of teens and young adults