Consumer Protection: Keeping Kids Safe Online

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show
Toy using a computer
Kristof Abrath (CC-NC-2.0)

School is out and children have more free time than they may know what to do with this summer. Find out how to keep your kids safe when they are online. Plus an update on recent scams on vacation rentals!

Featured in this Show

  • Experts: Children Need Parents' Involvement For Internet Usage

    There are many benefits of using the Internet, but there are also risks, which is why it’s important to know how to keep children safe when they navigate the Web.

    By the age of 10, more than half of children have used social media networks, expert say. Children, now more than ever, have the ability and the time to use the Internet just about whenever they want. Especially with summer in sight, online usage is bound to increase for many children just out of school.

    Sandy Chalmers and Michelle Reinen, from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, share resources available for parents to monitor their child’s online activity.

    “There are a lot of tools available for parents to control kids’ Internet usage. There are tools available to filter and block a website. Some block specific content on websites. There are tools that block out outgoing content that help limit what kind of info your child might share,” said Chalmers.

    Examples include settings like parental controls and content advisor on PCs that can limit content that children view online. There are also software programs available that can be downloaded to track the sites and interactions a child has been involved with on the Internet. Some of these sites include Safety Web and AVIRA.

    But according to Chalmers, nothing can compare to a face to face discussion with children on Internet safety.

    “Tools are great but they don’t substitute for a chat with your kids or grandkids about what they’re doing online,” she said.

    According to Reinen and Chalmers, it’s essential to sit down and have a talk with a child about what a family has decided is OK for using a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Cheyenne Lentz Producer
  • Sandy Chalmers Guest
  • Michelle Reinen Guest

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