TUCSON (KVOA) – It's easy to let kids surf the web to keep them busy while you work. And, it can help keep them social by allowing them to interact with their friends. But, while that can be beneficial, it can also be dangerous.
It allows children new ways of interacting with others, but technology can come at a cost. This means that you should watch what is shared as predators can take information and use it on their prey.
Topics such as the name of their school, that they have practice every day at a certain time or for older kids, something as simple as venting online about their parents. This can all be very dangerous.
"Because predators are now looking at those vulnerabilities in a child... okay, you're lonely you want someone else that's telling me you're not getting the attention you're seeking and maybe I can fill that void" said Kacey Baine of the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Baine also says to set boundaries for when kids can be online.
And, in regards to which apps you allow your kids to use... parents should also get the same apps so they're familiar with how they work.
"It's important to have conversations about what rules you're setting and why you're setting them" said Baine.
Have your child's password and let them know they're being monitored out of concern for safety.
"We want to know who that person is friends with and we want to monitor that really closely, but as the child gets older they may have a little bit more freedom" Baine added.
And, remind children not to talk online with people they don't know.
Finally, it's important for parents to remember not to share too much online as sometimes social media posts can give away too much information that could pose a risk to your child.
For more information on the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, visit www.choa.org/medical-services/child-protection-advocacy-center.