Now that we know schools will be teaching remotely until the end of the school year, your kids will probably be spending more time online.
Detective Richard Wistocki says there are dangers that come when kids get the internet, including cyberbullying, child predators, and sexting. But, there are steps parents can take to minimize those dangers.
For example, when your kids are chatting with friends online, make sure they’re using the safest possible apps and websites.
“Zoom.us is the safest monitoring site because there’s no social network attached to it,” Wistocki said. “Some parents had asked me, ‘Hey is Houseparty okay? Is Skype okay? Is Hangouts okay?’ If there is a social network attached to it, that means your kid can be searched.”
Zoom also allows users to record and download conversations, giving parents a chance to review how children are spending their time, even if they can’t supervise in the moment.
But most sites don’t have that option, and you can’t have eyes on your child all the time, so taking away devices when you can’t be there, like overnight, might be a smart idea.
“The common denominator of all my child predator cases, and I’ve arrested over 300 predators in my career, is that when parents allow their children to charge their devices in their rooms at night, that’s when they get victimized,” said Wistocki.
Cyberparenting-101.com is a website Wistocki recently created to give parents a better idea of the dangers their kids face when logging on to the web. The site is set up to give parents a crash course on internet safety.
Keeping kids safe, even when they’re stuck at home.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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