BOISE, Idaho — Back-to-school may look different this year with kids at home and behind a screen, so Boise Police has some tips for parents to keep kids safe online and at home. BPD suggests having age-appropriate conversations about digital use and establish expectations about text messages and location sharing.
Parents can control and monitor what children access through parental controls and device management programs. The department recommends securing your Wi-Fi connection and not sharing the password with one. BPD also recommends keeping passwords in a safe place so your children can't access them. Remind students not to share their passwords with anyone except their parents.
When it comes to social media and emails, Boise Police says parents should know the passwords. Parents should also research apps before they are downloaded, like what they do and what information is shared with the app developer.
Remind children to never send their picture or meet with someone online without asking permission. Parents should encourage their children to tell them if they encounter anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, including interactions with strangers and bullying by peers. BPD says to assure children they are not in trouble, even if inappropriate images or pictures are sent to them. If your child gets threatening or offensive material, BPD says to contact the internet service provider and local law enforcement.
Many parents are juggling their work schedules and their children's education. If children are going to be home alone, it is important to discuss safety, as well as building self-esteem, confidence and competence.
- Check-in with a parent or a trusted neighbor at set times throughout the day.
- Learn how to call 911 and know their address.
- Know how to use the door and window locks, and to lock them when they are at home alone. Use the alarm system if there is one.
- Never let anyone into the home without asking parents for permission, and never let a caller at the door or on the phone know that they are alone.
- Know how to escape in case of fire.
- Never go into an empty house or apartment if things don’t look right — a broken window, ripped screen or open door. Instead, go tell a trusted neighbor.
- Let parents know about anything that frightens them or makes them feel uncomfortable. (Remember, parents, to refrain from blaming them for something frightening that happened to them by someone else, even if you feel that they could have avoided it.)
- Never go into anyone else's home without parental permission.