Attorney General Daniel Cameron today released tips from the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit to help parents and caregivers keep their children safe when they are online. As a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), school closures and cancellations of extracurricular activities are leading children to spend more time online for academic and recreational purposes.
Nearly every Kentucky child has experienced a disruption in his or her daily life because of COVID-19, said Attorney General Cameron. As a result, children are spending more time online and can be more susceptible to cyber predators. Parents can take simple, proactive steps to monitor their child’s online presence and keep them safe.
To protect children from cyber predators, parents should:
- Ask your child who they are communicating with online, and encourage them to only communicate with friends they know. Children often do not view their online ï¿½friendsï¿½ as strangers, so it is important to have a conversation with your child about appropriate ways to communicate online with their friends.
- Use parental controls on your child’s devices so that they cannot access certain websites and content.
- Know the passwords to your child’s online accounts, including email and social media.
- Set limits on screen time.
- Establish rules for how, when, and where the internet can be used.
- Suggest that electronic devices are used only in communal areas of the home.
- Ask your child to identify a trusted adult who they can communicate with about online concerns.
The Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit is responsible for investigating cybercrimes, including crimes against children, and conducting digital forensic analysis on electronic devices involved in crimes. Last month, the unit partnered with other law enforcement agencies in five separate operations targeting online predators.
If an online predator contacts your child, report the incident immediately to local law enforcement.
Do not delete messages, photos, or other types of digital content from the predator, and do not attempt to make contact.