HKQ Kids

STAYING SAFE ON THE INTERNET

Listen to the HKQ Kids' Radio spot:


Right now, more than ever, we are all online – including our kids. Over 81% of Americans own a smartphone, and use it on average, over 4 hours a day. These statistics have doubled since 2012! Most social media use takes place on a smartphone, with only 21% happening on desktop. And, as our kids begin using smartphones, the percentage of daily usage increases exponentially.

A federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) helps protect children under the age of 13 when they are engaging in online activities. It is designed to keep others from getting children’s information without a parent’s permission. COPPA requires websites to explain privacy policies on their sites. COPPA also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or participate in a contest.

Most social media platforms require users to be a minimum of 13 years of age. However, this is very difficult to police. And, the best protection for your children’s safety is always you. Monitor their activities, teach them responsible use, model responsible use, and help them surf the internet safely.

Here are a few steps you can take to help keep your kids safe:

Search out online protection tools. Online tools are available that will filter out adult material. While no tool is 100%, installing these tools and using them diligently will help. Check with your internet service provider. They may have parental controls that you can put in place.

Make sure your kids don’t use their real name. Develop a screen name that will be easy for the kids to remember, but difficult for others to guess.

Don’t post personal pictures or share personal pictures, especially those that clearly identify your location.

Keep the computer in a common area in your home. Make sure your kids are surfin the web while they are in your view.

Share a social media account with your kids. It will make it easier to access activity. Bookmark their favorite sites.

Be aware of location settings within each site. Many sites have a section where you can locate “friends”. Make sure this feature is disabled.

Disable tracking cookies that track specific user information such as name, email, and shopping preferences.

Strictly prohibit “Chat room” activities.

Monitor your credit cards and phone bills for unfamiliar calls and charges.

Take your child seriously if they are uncomfortable with any online activity. If necessary, report it to the authorities.

Take an active role in your children’s internet activity to help keep them as safe as possible.

For additional safety tips go to HKQKids.org, find us on Facebook and Instagram.