Your kids’ online activity has increased a ton now that they are doing homework online, video chatting for play dates, and increasing screen time during the quarantine. Now more than ever, it’s important to know what your kids are doing online and put some practices in place to keep them safe!

FBI Warnings

The FBI issued a press release stating that school closings present the possibility of increased child exploitation online. Don’t let your kids fall victim to it! In the press release, the FBI lists the following recommended measures to take to help prevent your kids from becoming victims of child predators and sexual exploitation:

Online Child Exploitation

  • Discuss Internet safety with children of all ages when they engage in online activity.
  • Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded.
  • Make sure privacy settings are set to the strictest level possible for online gaming systems and electronic devices.
  • Monitor your children’s use of the Internet; keep electronic devices in an open, common room of the house.
  • Check your children’s profiles and what they post online.
  • Explain to your children that images posted online will be permanently on the Internet.
  • Make sure children know that anyone who asks a child to engage in sexually explicit activity online should be reported to a parent, guardian, or other trusted adult and law enforcement.
  • Remember that victims should not be afraid to tell law enforcement if they are being sexually exploited. It is not a crime for a child to send sexually explicit images to someone if they are compelled or coerced to do so.

Child Abuse Awareness

  • Teach your children about body safety and boundaries.
  • Encourage your children to have open communication with you.
  • Be mindful of who is watching your child for childcare/babysitting, playdates and overnight visits.
  • If your child discloses abuse, immediately contact local law enforcement for assistance.
  • Children experiencing hands-on abuse may exhibit withdrawn behavior, angry outbursts, anxiety, depression, not wanting to be left alone with a specific individual, non-age appropriate sexual knowledge, and an increase in nightmares.

The press release also provides guidance on victim reporting and gives additional information and guidance on Protecting Your Kids. has a great article by Rebecca Edwards, Internet Safety Guide for Kids, that outlines several steps you can take to keep kids safe during online learning. The article also provides a Video Chat Safety Checklist to help you set boundaries with your kids using video chat.

Top Three Threats

According to the article, there are three top threats affecting your kids:

  • Cyberbullying
  • Online Predators
  • Exposure to Inappropriate Content

Online Learning Safety Tips

  • Use sites with https:// not just http://
  • Protect personal information
  • Set up parental controls
  • Keep everything updated

Read the entire article for some great, actionable advice!