Online Safety During Summer Break
While summer offers more freedom for children, parents should be aware of the scary reality that can come with that freedom. Online grooming by predators often picks up in the summer as pedophiles and even traffickers take advantage of unsupervised children and increased online activity among minors.
Chris Hadnagy, founder of Innocent Lives Foundation, a nonprofit group that works with law enforcement to bring predators to justice, offers tips to parents on the dos and don’ts of online safety and explains the warning signs of this often invisible crime.
1. Teach your kids not to share too much information online, discourage “checking-in” and geo tagging. Be careful about what your minors post, make sure they only connect with people they know, keep their location private and properly protect their passwords.
2. Monitor your children’s online activity and social media accounts, adjust account settings to private and never allow children to meet online friends in person.
3. Popular online games like Minecraft and Fortnite can be dangerous for kids as predators often use these platforms to lure in young people.
4. Be aware of social media risks. While it’s tempting to post pictures from your summer vacation, these photos may be exposing your kids to predators.