#childsafety | Internet safety tips for parents during stay-at-home order

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) — As schools across the Ozarks are going virtual and kids are spending more time at home, they may be getting used to more screen time than usual.

Cell Ppones, tablets and laptops have become a necessity for many parents and children right now.
Nichole Lemmon, the director of digital learning with Springfield Public Schools said it’s a good time to start setting some guidelines with your child.
“You know we still want to avoid having students have those devices in their bedrooms. Being able as a parent to see what they’re doing and monitoring is a great idea,” said Lemmon.
She said it’s easy to get roped into free online games and websites right now to stay entertained, but you should be careful with what you’re clicking.
“If it’s a webinar service or a really cool virtual field trip and it asks you put in your child’s first and last name and birth date that’s a good sign that they’re mining your student’s data,” Lemmon said. “We want to avoid anything that’s free. It might be free to you, but the odds that they’re collecting data on your student are high.”

On their cell phones, Officer Brent Forgey with Nixa Police said you need to keep an eye out for hidden apps.
“There’s lots of risks there,” he said. “One of the apps we found where kids try to hide things is parents need to check the calculator app. They tend to layer things behind that or hide things they shouldn’t be seeing or getting into.”
Officer Forgey also recommended talking about cyber bulling with your child. It can happen on any virtual platform.
“We even find that with gaming, they can get bullied with gaming. Someone can get mad because the kid wins and they start cussing at the kid,” he said. “Parents need to have some rules down if that happens they need to stop, shut it down, report the person.”
Both Officer Forgey and Lemmon said parents should know what apps your child has on their phone, tablet or laptop. Lemmon recommend double-checking the age restrictions on some of those more popular apps like Instagram and Tik Tok.
She said younger students using SPS issued laptops have a timer that shuts them off automatically in the evening. Lemmon also recommended charging electronics in a common space, like your living room to keep your child from using them at night without your supervision.

Resources for Parents recommended by Officer Forgey and Springfield Public Schools:
Click HERE to access NetSparz.org
Click HERE to access commonsensemedia.org

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