It’s hard to believe, but summer break has come to an end. And as parents and teachers prepare for the upcoming school year, BBB wants to help you help your children stay safe and provides the following tips to help ensure your safety and the safety of those you love.
“The task of parenting continues to face new challenges,“ Mechele Agbayani Mills, President|CEO of BBB Central East Texas said. “Creating a secure environment also includes the online environment in which we have immersed ourselves.”
BBB provides the following tips to help keep your child safe online:
Communicate. Encourage your children to make you aware if something or someone they encounter online causes them to feel anxious, uncomfortable, or threatened.
Set ground rules. Provide children with limits regarding length of time they can be on their devices and which sites are and are not acceptable.
Set permission requirements. Free apps often have clickable ads or an option to download paid versions of the application. Disable your device’s ability to download apps without a password.
Minimize the risk. Insist that your children communicate only with people they have met in person. Review their friends and ask questions. Remember children are in real danger when they meet strangers in person with whom they have only communitcated online..
Limit information. Posting too much information can make your children vulnerable. Set your child’s privacy settings to “private” or “friends only”, and restrict them from posting information such as their address, phone number, date of birth, and name of school.
Be mindful about detail in photographs. Photographs can reveal a lot of personal information. Encourage your children not to post photographs of themselves or their friends with clearly identifiable details such as street signs, license plates on family cars, or even the name of their school on their sweatshirts.
Take it down. If your children refuse to abide by the rules you’ve set to help protect their safety and you’ve attempted to help them change their behavior, you can contact the social website your child uses and ask them to remove the page.
Keep in mind there are many internet filtering tools and applications that are available to complement parental supervision and help young people navigate the web in an effective and safe manner while ensuring their future success in a tech-savvy and highly connected world.
For more information
For more tips for staying safe online, read BBB’s tips on staying cyber secure. And always look for the BBB seal; it’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM. Start with companies you can trust by going to bbb.org.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.