Whether it's keeping kids busy while you work or keeping them social by allowing them to interact with others online, time spent on technology has gone up in many homes during this pandemic. While that can be beneficial, it can also be dangerous.
Technology allows children new ways of interacting with others, but technology can come at a cost. Parents should watch what is shared as parents can take information and use it on their prey. 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, can be 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 with the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Children's Healthcare of Altanta.
Baine says to set boundaries for when kids can be online and for which apps you allow them to use. Parents should also get the same apps so they are familiar with how they work.
"It's important to have conversations about what rules you're setting and why you're setting them," says Baine.
Have your child's password and let them know they are 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," says Baine.
Finally, remind children not to talk online with people they do not know.