Project Harmony (www.projectharmony.com) is offering a free online safety training for parents, caregivers and educators throughout the month of January in an effort to keep kids safe online. Please visit ProjectHarmony.com/training for more information and to register.
It is no surprise that the internet has changed the way children interact with the world. According to Pew Research Center, teens are increasingly sharing information through social media such as their real name, interests, birth date, relationship status, pictures/videos of themselves, where they live and their contact information. Sharing this kind of information makes it easy for online perpetrators to seek out potential victims, gather personal information and make contact.
Like most conversations about safety, this is an ongoing one – set technology boundaries to help them have a safer digital experience. Check-in often and remind your children that they can talk to you about anything and they can come to you if anyone makes them feel uncomfortable.
If your child is subjected to inappropriate content, cyberbullying or even sextortion, make sure they know they are not at fault. If a child thinks they will be punished for receiving inappropriate content or cyberbullying, they likely will not tell a trusted adult. Talk to your child, collect evidence (emails, texts, screenshots of social media posts, etc.) and contact the police if physical threats are involved.