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Tips for keeping your kids safe online

Author
Josef Rappaport, DPT, Physical Therapist
November 22, 2023

Many kids begin accessing the internet as young as two or three years old via their parents' phones, tablets designed for kids, and even via devices at daycare and preschool. Often, they begin by watching videos or playing educational games, but as they get older, they typically gain more and more freedom and access that can leave them vulnerable to people who don’t have their best interests at heart. With such malleable and vulnerable brains, it’s imperative that parents and caregivers work to keep kids safe when they’re engaging with content online. 

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If you believe your child was pushed to gambling websites while playing Roblox, you may be entitled to compensation.

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How to Keep Kids Safe Online

The internet is a valuable tool that has permeated our lives to the extent that it’s never going away. It can be a wonderful tool for spreading knowledge and connecting people, but it can also be a dangerous place, especially for kids. As kids get older and have increasingly more access to the internet, it is the parent’s job to teach them how to use the internet wisely and to monitor and keep them safe while kids are still young. 

Both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Attorney’s Office have provided tips to help parents and caregivers keep their kids safe online. Here are some of their top tips:

  • Establish clear guidelines for internet use in your home
  • Regularly talk to your kids about internet safety, whether they’re young or old
  • Supervise your child’s internet use
  • Limit who your child can communicate with
  • Review and approve new games, apps, and websites before your child uses them
  • Take advantage of privacy settings and parental controls 
  • Use apps and in-device technology to set boundaries and monitor what your child is doing online
  • Teach kids not to share their personal information
  • Teach kids how to say no and what a safe and unsafe person might say
  • Monitor your child for signs of abuse, anxiety, and depression
  • Encourage kids to tell a trusted adult if something they experience online doesn’t feel right
  • Report any known or suspected abuse

Keeping kids safe online needs to be a continuous and intentional act. To help parents out, there are various tools and products that are designed to protect children. For example, you can set up parental controls on devices and web browsers and download apps and software that allow you to monitor your child’s activity. 

The impact of physical proximity cannot be understated, either. Be intentional about keeping an open dialogue with your kids and being physically present as much as possible when they are accessing the internet. Nemours Children’s Health recommends that parents spend time online with their kids, keep computers in common areas, bookmark favorite sites to make it easier for kids to access them, check accounts for unexpected charges, be aware of what online protection is in place at school and in other places outside the home, and always believe and take kids seriously if they talk about an uncomfortable experience they had online. When it comes to protecting kids online, you always need to have your guard up and stay up to date with emerging platforms and technologies.  

Why Is The Internet Dangerous For Kids? 

Quite frankly, there are so many ways kids can be taken advantage of on the internet. From cyberbullying to sexual abuse to identity theft, there are unfortunately countless ways the internet can be damaging to kids. 

Many predators use the internet to groom children, garnering their trust via fake profiles. According to the Child Crime Prevention and Safety Center, there are 500,000 active predators on the internet every single day. Once they have a child’s trust, online predators often use that trust to convince kids to send illicit photos or even to meet in person and engage in sexual acts. 

Kids of all ages are also often the victims of cyberbullying, where kids are attacked, made fun of, threatened, or humiliated online by their peers or even by strangers. This can be especially damaging to kids because it’s hard for them to escape their online world. The bullying can follow them everywhere they go. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can lead to suicidal thoughts and attempts, according to the National Institutes of Health

Cybercriminals attempt to take advantage of kids online by stealing their identity as well, and they have also used artificial intelligence to create explicit images of children. Recently, the popular gaming website Roblox has been accused of financially exploiting minors as well. While the site does not allow kids to gamble, it has been accused of luring kids off of the platform to gamble on third-party websites using Robux, the game’s currency. Then, once kids gambled on a third-party site, Roblox earned a commission on the money the kids spent. The third-party websites would earn money via these transactions as well. 

If you believe your child is being or has been taken advantage of online, the first and most important thing to do is to contact authorities and keep your child safe. Secondly, you may be able to take legal action to get justice for your child and to secure financial compensation. In the case of Roblox, a class action lawsuit has been filed against both the Roblox Corporation and the third-party gambling websites. If your family has been affected, we can help you evaluate your case and get connected with a Roblox lawyer to see if you are eligible to join the class action lawsuit.

Free Case Evaluation

If you believe your child was pushed to gambling websites while playing Roblox, you may be entitled to compensation.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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