Keeping Kids Safe: Tech expert discusses best practices for gift giving electronics

Positive Parenting

(WYTV) – The newest technology can be a fun and exciting gift for people of all ages on Christmas. Game consoles, tablets and cell phones are often at the top of kids’ lists to Santa. So, we talked to a local tech expert about how you can keep your kids safe online.

Parents, before you wrap that cool new gift for your kids this Christmas, think about this: do you know how to use it? The latest technology isn’t always as simple as we want it to be.

“You need to know where your parental controls are located,” said Kelli Gould, with Cyber Express.

Gould knows technology as she works at Cyber Express in Boardman, but she’s also a mom. She knows the dangers lurking online and wants parents to know their child’s safety starts with them.

“Monitoring those things in any way, shape or form is our responsibility as parents,” Gould said.

So before that present goes under the tree…

“Pop the thing open before you wrap it up. Get to know your way around it. Set it up. Set the controls up before you wrap it up,” Gould said.

We’re talking tablets, phones, game consoles, even computers. If it has access to the internet, cyber experts want you to be able to navigate it as easily as your child can.

Establishing trust is a big part of having access to these devices, especially for teens and young adults.

“That means that you’ve had an open conversation about what kinds of things are OK to talk about on the internet and what isn’t OK to talk about on the internet,” Gould said.

Knowing what social media platforms your child is on is a part of this as well. What are they seeing, posting and sharing online?

“Before any app or social media is added to a tablet, a phone, before they sign on to the internet using a PC, you want to know what is that social media platform? What does it involve? Is it purely just for social? Is it playing games? Is it for exchanging pictures?” Gould said.

Gould says the best way to know exactly what each platform is all about is by being on it yourself.

Last but not least, have a cyber security program in place.

“Something that you have actually put in place from a professional service that will help you monitor the digital footprint of your family and keep them safe from hackers or people who want to get into your internet connection and access your private information, but can also get in and expose your children and your family,” Gould said.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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