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Staying Safe while on Social Media
University of Arkansas System Division of AgricultureSaline County Cooperative Extension Service
1605 Edison Ave.Benton, AR 72015
Tips from Extension Educator Kristal Draper on keeping our homes healthy and stylish!
by Kristal Draper
Summer vacation is in full swing and for kids that often means more free time for
social media and playing games on their devices. Unfortunately, online predators are
also using the internet searching for their next victim.
Online predators are looking for any advantage they can to intimidate or put your
child into inappropriate situations. It is important for parents and adults to be
vigilant in knowing what children are doing on their devices. We need to know who
exactly our children are talking to online to make sure they stay safe.
Suggested guidelines for internet browsing for children and teens include:
Parents/caregivers can lessen the likelihood of their child becoming a victim of an
online predator through keeping the lines of communication open, monitoring their
child’s internet activity, and direct instruction on internet safety. Never assume
anything. Remember if your child does encounter an online predator, the child is the
victim. Talk to your child about sexual victimization and the potential for online
Parents should use the parental control settings: maintain access to emails and online
accounts; place the computer or other devices in a common room in the house, not in
the child’s bedroom; and be aware of the computer safeguards anywhere your child might
access a computer or other devices and internet such as school, the library, or a
Instruct your child in the correct use of online resources. Spend time with your child
on the internet and encourage them to teach you what they know. Never arrange a face
to face meeting with someone they met online and never automatically assume what they
are told online is true. The internet can be very useful if used correctly but it
also comes with problems and other issues our children need to be aware of.
Another danger children face connected with technology is cyberbullying. According
to the website stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using
electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as
cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social
media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include
mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking
sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
The Arkansas Attorney General’s office recommends the following strategies if your
child is facing cyberbullying:
If you would like more information, please call me at the office or email me and I
will be happy to help.