Back to Learning: How to teach your kids to stay safe while learning online
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Now more than ever, kids of all ages are online participating in live video conferences and lessons from home.
Dr. Frank Appunn teaches cyber security at Thomas College. He says children can be easy targets for scammers and predators.
It’s important to have a plan in place, in case your child gets into trouble online.
“It could be as bad as a little virus. The probabilities are just so high,” said Appunn.
Chris Rhoda serves as Thomas College’s Chief Information Officer.
He’s also the parent of a 10 and 15-year-old.
He says the biggest piece of advice he can give to other parents, is to have open dialogue with your kids about the dangers they can face online.
It’s important to know what websites your child is visiting and have access to their passwords for devices and social media accounts.
“As a parent, it’s like anything else. If they’re hiding something, you’re probably going to be able to tell if you’re paying attention, so paying attention is the best thing a parent can do,” explained Rhoda.
Rhoda says kids of all ages are at risk of cyber bullying, too, but there are easy ways to report it.
“If someone is bullying you, let us know,” said Rhoda. “If you can document that, great. Taking a screen shot on a smartphone is really easy for example.”
The Better Business Bureau has some tips on how to manage online privacy for the family.
Those include, reading privacy policies together, using parental controls if necessary, and not sharing personal information like names, age, passwords, or your location.
Bottom line, experts say parents must have a plan in place.
And, if something does go wrong, know who you should report it to.
“You can go to a teacher. You can go to me but make the plan. Within a plan, bad things will happen. Put it in terms that the child understands and then tell them the best place to go,” said Appunn.
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