PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As the back-to-school season swings into full gear, so does the increased screen time for children. Alan Crowetz, a respected figure in cybersecurity, sheds light on the lurking online dangers, urging parents to double down on their oversight of their children’s internet use.
With the integration of online learning and digital tools becoming a norm, children find themselves online more than ever. Crowetz states, “The internet, while a treasure trove of information, also houses predators searching for unsuspecting young individuals.”
Diverse Age, Different Measures
For younger children, Crowetz recommends that devices should remain in communal areas of the home. Parents should familiarize themselves with each program or application their child uses. Anything unknown to the parent should be approached with caution.
Middle schoolers, experiencing a larger sense of digital freedom, need a different kind of oversight. “This age group is particularly vulnerable. It’s the right time to intensify conversations about online responsibilities,” says Crowetz. He emphasizes the importance of parents having open access to their child’s devices and social media accounts.
When discussing teens, Crowetz warns against complacency. The digital threats differ, but their implications can be dire. He mentions, “Boys can be enticed by scams while girls might be approached by online predators. Often, they understand the depth of the situation when it’s too late.”
Resources for Parents
For those feeling daunted, Crowetz points to valuable tools. “Homeland Security offers substantial resources on child and internet safety. It’s a great starting point for parents wanting to educate themselves.”
However, amidst all the technological solutions and strategies, Crowetz strongly believes in the power of open dialogue. “While new threats emerge, traditional communication remains our strongest asset. Regularly talk to your children about their online experiences.”
In today’s interconnected world, parental involvement is paramount in ensuring children’s safety, both offline and online.