Knowing where your kids are can be a full time job. Knowing where they are online—which websites they’re visiting and who they’re talking to—is even harder, but is no less important. The Better Business Bureau Children’s Advertising Review Unit encourages parents to teach their kids and tweens about unsafe online situations and recommends looking out for seven stop signs.
According to a study by the Neilsen Norman Group, kids as young as nine years old are becoming just as capable—if not more so—than their parents at navigating the Internet. While young kids may be computer whizzes, they aren’t necessarily as smart as their parents when it comes to identifying online threats, including predators and fraud.
“The best way to keep your kids safe online is to keep the lines of communication open,” said Wayne Keeley, director of the BBB Children’s Advertising Review Unit. “Talk to them about the possible dangers and let them know that they can always come to you if they feel confused, threatened or bullied online.”
Sit down with your kids and let them know that they should stop and come talk to you whenever they find themselves in these seven situations online:
For more than 35 years, the BBB Children’s Advertising Review Unit has promoted responsible children's advertising by evaluating child-directed advertising and promotional material in all media to advance truthfulness, accuracy and consistency. CARU performs a high level of monitoring, including the scrutinizing of over ten thousand television commercials, and the review of advertisements in print, radio and online media.
To raise awareness of children’s online safety, CARU has created a series of TV PSAs that are airing nationwide and are also available online. Blogs, television and radio stations interested in spreading the word about online safety can contact Wayne Keeley at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about airing these PSAs.
Parents can report websites that request personally identifiable information from children under 13 at www.CARU.org.
More information about kids online safety is available at the CARU Parent’s Corner.