Hey, parents! Set some boundaries! Twenty-eight percent of teenagers participating in a 2016 study reported their household had no rules about their use of internet-connected devices. The study by the National Cyber Security Alliance also found that 60 percent of online teens ages 13-17 reported creating online accounts their parents knew nothing about.
Use these tips from the Florida Division of Consumer Services to keep kids safe:
Be positively engaged: Pay attention to and know what online sites your kids are visiting.
Know the protection features of the websites and software your children use: All major internet service providers have tools to help you manage your child’s online experience.
Review privacy settings: Select the privacy settings on social networking sites, cellphones, and other social tools appropriate for your child’s age and experience.
Explain the implications: Help your child understand what they share on the internet can be easily copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to remove.
Stranger danger: Help your child understand not everyone is truthful about themselves online; stress the importance of not sharing personal information.
Be aware of all the ways your child can connect to the internet: Phones, tablets, gaming systems, and even TVs are connected to the internet, so act responsibly.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office also distributes free internet monitoring software to help ensure computer, tablet, and mobile phone safety. The “Computer Cop” is available at the sheriff’s office, 360 W. Ruby St., Tavares, or call 352.343.9500 for more information.