BBB: Be safe while shopping online | Shopping & Services
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - According to a recent Nielsen survey (see article below), the number one gift that children, ages 6 to 12 years old, want for Christmas is an iPad, followed by an iPod Touch and an iPhone in second and third place. Children are more tech savvy than ever, but they are not savvy when it comes to online safety.
“The BBB urges parents to begin discussing Internet safety with children as soon as they are old enough to click on a mouse and play games online,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by Internet security company AVG, children are learning to use smartphones and computers before they can tie their own shoes.
Findings for U.S. children, ages two to five years old, may surprise you:
· 19 percent can operate a simple smart phone app
· 25 percent can make a mobile phone call
· 25 percent can open a web browser
· 61 percent can play a computer game
· 67 percent can operate a computer mouse
According to AVG, smartphones and computers have replaced television as the predominant education and entertainment media for children.
“Children are growing up with technology being part of their lives from the time they are born,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. “The best way to keep your kids safe online is to supervise their screen time and discuss how to surf the Internet safely.”
The BBB has advice for parents on how to talk to pre-school and school-age children about situations they may encounter online:
- Request for payment or financial information – Computer games and smartphone games may not be free. To prevent unwanted charges on your wireless bill, tell your child to check with you before clicking on ‘yes’ or ‘okay’ to anything online or on your phone.
- Request for personal information – Children often learn their name, address and phone number at a very early age. Make sure your child understands that they cannot give out any of this information to anyone online for any reason.
- Inappropriate language – Children learn about ‘bad words’ at an early age. Tell your child to let you know if anyone uses ‘bad’ words when they are online.
- Stranger danger – Children are taught not to talk to strangers, but online, a stranger could pretend to be a friend or a teacher. Check out your child’s ‘friends’ so you know who they are chatting with online.
- Posting pictures online – Elementary school age children have Facebook pages. By first grade, some kids even know how to take and upload pictures. Tell your child that you must approve any pictures that they want to share with friends online.
- Bullying – Your child could be harassed online through Facebook, emails, or instant messages. Tell your child to let you know if anyone is being mean to them online.
- ‘Friends’ and friend requests – Tell your child that he or she cannot be ‘friends’ online with anyone whom you do not know. You should have the password to your child’s Facebook page, and regularly review who their friends are, what kinds of information they are sharing, and any photos that your child posts or are ‘tagged’ in.
For more information about online safety, please visit www.bbb.org.
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