As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the world, school districts are struggling with the big decision of reopening schools versus teaching through online platforms. The coronavirus containment measures and limited extra-curricular activities have led to an unprecedented increase in the amount of screen time. As a parent, if you worry about kids playing online games or browsing inappropriate websites, those worries may be further multiplied now.
The rise in unsupervised online activities significantly increases the possibilities of cyberbullying, predator threats, and unsafe use of social media or game apps. Whether it is virtual learning or other online activities, if a child’s personal information gets breached or hacked into, they may have an increased risk of online identity theft.
In the past months, the state and federal authorities have taken the necessary steps to increase awareness about online safety. Industry-specific regulatory bodies have started enhancing online safety standards, especially for the virtual learning tools accessed by educators. Schools and social media platforms are also reflecting the new realities and updating their current policies to enhance the safeguards against these risks.
Top Tips to Protect Children from Online Predators
The data destruction experts at TITAN Mobile Shredding offer some useful tips on keeping children safe from fraudsters, predators, and cyberbullies during all their online activities:
- Have open dialogues with your children at frequent intervals. Ask them how and with whom they communicate online.
- Establish some ground rules on how, when and where they can use the internet.
- Put together a list of apps that your children use and update the security settings within each app.
- Use parental control apps that allow you to review, approve, block, or manage app downloads or in-app purchases.
- Participate in some of the online games that your children play to give you first-hand experience of the environment and interactions on that app or site.
- If possible, encourage your children to sit in high traffic areas where an adult in the family can keep an eye on their online activities.
- Frequently review the browser history on all the devices the children use to ensure they are not venturing into any inappropriate sites.
- Familiarize yourself with any new social media platforms or apps that your children start using.
- Remain vigilant and watch for any signs of distress linked to their online activities.
- Stay updated on your school district policies, as well as local reporting mechanisms and keep contact info for support handy.
Besides all the measures for protecting your children during their virtual activities, remember to practice safe storage and secure disposal of your physical and digital records, both personal and business-related. If you have a pile of obsolete papers, hard drives, thumb drives, CDs or DVDs, then shred the physical documents and digital devices, instead of dumping them in your garbage or recycle bin. For safe and secure shredding services, count on the residential shredding services of a NAID AAA Certified company, such as TITAN Mobile Shredding. You can bring your files, papers and digital media to our drop-off locations, or take advantage of our convenient home pick-up services or monthly community shredding events.
Protect yourself from fraud, cyber scams, and identity theft with the help of TITAN Mobile Shredding! Click to contact us online to learn more about our residential services or speak to our data destruction professionals at 866-848-2699.