Keep your child safe online with these tips

Bridging the gap between parents and youth with technology can help keep them safe from cybercrimes.

This week U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Todd Wilton of Sault Ste. Marie, held internet safety presentations throughout the Copper Country to inform parents, teachers and guardians of the risks, consequences and ways to protect kids from online dangers.

“Obviously technology has come a long way from when we were younger to now. …There’s a huge gap to cross. There’s a huge bridge between them and us,” said Wilton.

He showcased several different predatory cases and explained ways for adults to keep the kids safe.

Education and communication are the primary defenses against internet predators, he said. Education and communication build trust and help keep the door open for kids to tell parents when threats arise and serious situations occur.

The main reason cases go too far is kids being scared to tell their parents about online solicitations or bullying.

Parents were encouraged to let children know they won’t take their phones if they inform them of what’s going on, at least the first time, said Wilton.

Many children also have multiple accounts, some might have a personal Facebook page for family and others for just friends.

Online predators often reach kids in chat rooms, on social media or in the chat feature of multi-player games, which is most common.

Monitoring children’s online game play, conversations and cell phones are also ways to keep them from being involved.

Wilton suggested children be instructed and taught to keep online gaming conversations strictly about the game in those chatrooms.

Some other ways to keep safe on the internet:

•Checking for messaging and high-risk apps.

•Some may have additional calculator apps that hide images and other information they don’t want you to see.

•Putting phones away at night.

•Checking phones at least twice a week.

•Taking metadata off of photos before posting — Facebook already does that.


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