Keeping your children safe from online predators during the summer

Keeping your children safe from online predators during the summer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Now that kids are out of school, they’re spending more time on the web, and online predators know it.

It used to be, you had to worry about who approached your kids on the street, outside your home. But now, with kids using technology at younger ages, and many parents relying on technology to keep their kids occupied, predators are online preying on kids. Especially when they're home for the summer.

It's officially summer. The days are longer, the weather is hotter, and kids are out of school. To beat the heat, or occupy themselves, a lot of kids and their parents are turning to technology.

"A lot of video games on the computer. She likes to play Road Blocks. That's one of her big ones. Animal Jam. Some of those kinds of things,” Carolyn Evans-Stone told us how her daughter likes to spend her time.

While most parents know the dangers of too much screen time, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning parents about some of the online dangers that come in the summer months.

"When children are not in the classroom 8 hours a day, they are on the internet more, they're on social media talking to people. Parents need to know exactly who their children are talking to. Whether it is someone from their school or someone posing as someone from their school; predators don't take the summer off,” Rutledge said.

We stopped by the Hillary Clinton Children's Library, to find parents, turning their kids' attention away from technology, to see how they protect their kids from predators.

"We observe what she's doing when she is online to make sure she's not giving out information she shouldn't be. We only let her play those particular games, because there is some filter to them,” Evans-Stone said.

"I'm very close to them. I watch them very closely, because it's dangerous to even have them outside at this time with no proper attention. And this is a time when they can be influenced by the wrong ones to get involved in things they don't necessarily need to be involved in,” echoed parent of four, Ian Collins.

"Parents would not let their children get in to the car with someone they don't know. They wouldn't let them spend the night with someone they don't know. So don't let them talk to someone you don't know at all hours of the day and night on the internet,” the Attorney General said.

She added that parents should have access to all of their children's social media accounts, make sure they don't share those passwords with anyone but a parent or guardian, monitor any photos their kids may be uploading, and ask questions about who their kids are talking to online.

The Attorney General's office is hosting an internet safety webcast on August 2. In the meantime, click here for a website with information for parents, teachers, and students when it comes to cyber security.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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