With kids now back in school, parents should be aware of their online safety.
Parents usually have a list of things to get done before your kids get back to school. It may include school shopping, carpooling, or scheduling after school programs.
There’s one thing you may need to add to your list… talking about being safe online.
Jenn Love, with the Better Business Bureau in Acadiana, says, “We encourage parents to mention to their kids to really be careful for online predators out there. Have that conversation with your child, don’t rush through it, repeat with them, and make sure that you put your expectations out there. Don’t try to embarrass them… just keep the conversation easy and that way they’ll trust you with this information.”
Children are online throughout the year, but during the school year they may be more connected at the library, at school, and at home.
“So we have things that we wish that parents would discuss with their kids and have that conversation with them so kids will be safe as well,” Love adds. “Fortunately, you don’t have to be a techie to have this conversation. They’re very generic things that we like to tell parents to look out for.”
Online safety doesn’t just concern elementary students, but high school and even college students as well.
“When back to school starts, scammers know that college students are looking for scholarships or other financial aid situations, so they’ll try to find college students and scam them out of their personal information,” Love explains.
Both scams and online safety affects adults as well, so it’s beneficial for parents to look out for their children.
Love says, “Adults fall for this all the time so you can’t fault kids. You just have to have that conversation with them to let them know to protect their personal information. They’re more vulnerable than we are really.”
The Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission adds that parents should be specific about what’s off-limits and what you consider to be unacceptable behavior.
Parents should also work to keep all lines of communication open.