Parents need to help kids stay safe online

Facebook, Twitter, email, cellphones, and more. All of these can put kids’ identities in danger.

But do kids know how to stay safe online? Do they know that sites such as Facebook can give your computer viruses? Do they know that people online might trick kids into revealing your conversation with mom about dinner or your high score on games? These my not be important to you, but the reality is these hackers can trick you into getting your phone number or your parents’ bank card number! What if your cell phone is stolen? They could run your phone bill up sky high, or worse!

My point is that kids don’t think about what they type about online, and parents don’t think about what their kids could really be looking at online. I’ve seen ads for very inappropriate things! Sellers don’t think that little kids would be looking at their ads. Social networks think that because they have a age restriction (commonly 13+), it will stop kids from going on their sites. But it doesn’t. I know for a fact that kids lie about their age, and then join chat rooms, sign up for sites, and more!

Parents, kids are a high risk of being scammed! Ads like “Fun free games!” and “Free Apple laptops and other cool stuff!” trick kids into reveling personal info — and put viruses in your computer!

If kids want to go online, try Webkinz, or Club Penguin. These sites have moderators who watch what your kids are doing on the site. Also, try getting anti-virus software. This will help keep your computer clean and most anti-viruses have a setting that will monitor what kids do online.

Also, try blocking your kids from sites like YouTube, Facebook! That is, until they are ready. That way everyone wins!

–April 18, 2011–