Connecticut Laws Rank Among the Best in U.S. for Child Internet Safety
Summer break is quickly approaching, and with that comes the inevitable for kids: more screen time. iPads and laptops don't just come with ABCmouse, they wield free-range internet access right at your child's fingertips. Without proper parental controls, your child can look up anything and everything. Scary, right?
Luckily, Safewise has come out with an "Internet Safety Guide for Kids." In the article, Connecticut proves they mean business; they've been scored with an A 'letter grade.' In coming up with that letter grade, the study took into consideration the fact that Connecticut has laws that address cyberbullying, laws and legal consequences for online harassment, on and off-campus school discipline for cyberbullying and laws and misdemeanor penalties for sexting.
According to Safewise, the top three online threats for your child include cyberbullying, online predators and exposure to inappropriate content. The stats are a bit shocking, with 34% of children aged 12-17 having experienced cyberbullying, 98% of online predators never meeting their victims in real life when initiating contact, and more than 55% of tweens, those who range from ages 10-12, having already been exposed to violent content online, while 60% have already seen sexually explicit pictures or words.
With all this said, there are still ways to help your child stay safe online this summer. When it comes to protecting your child from inappropriate content on the internet, Safewise encourages you to have regular conversations with your child about the topic. Let them know that they can discuss anything inappropriate they've seen with you; talking to you is a safe space for them to express themselves. Keeping the computer in the living room is also a great start; your child shouldn't be going on any websites or talking to anyone they wouldn't be comfortable with you knowing about. Checking in regularly and setting boundaries is extremely important. Firewalls and content blockers are an amazing tool, limiting access to websites you deem inappropriate for your child's eyes. Most importantly, Safewise encourages you to never let your guard down. Even kid-focused websites still can present some danger.
For more information and tips, you can see SafeWise's full guide to internet safety.