Keeping kids and teens safe online during coronavirus pandemic

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact daily life, children and teens are relying on the internet now more than ever for school, socializing and fun.

While the convenience of web applications to keep people connected in times of self-isolation is important and necessary, there are very real dangers lurking.

J.J. Cannon, a social media expert and mother, joined Good Day Weekend on Saturday to discuss how parents can stay vigilant in ensuring their child's screen time remains safe.

Cannon says Zoom video chats, which have exploded in popularity amid the shift to online classrooms, are potentially vulnerable to hackers if not properly secured.

"It's the teacher's responsibility to lockdown these meetings so they can not be hacked into," Cannon said. "I would recommend that parents clarify and confirm with their school administrator or the teacher and ask what safety precaution they have put into place to lock down their virtual classroom."


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A rise in cyberbullying is another concern that parents should be aware of as their children increase their screen time. Cannon says the best way to combat cyberbullying is for parents to have their children make their social media accounts private.

"Encourage them to really keep their own gates up around their social media apps," Cannon said.

While new technologies and apps have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cannon believes children and teens are still using their traditional methods of communication such as Snapchat, FaceTime and Instagram.

Cannon suggests the most important way for parents to remain active in their child's internet presence is through communication.

"Communication is key, I always say the more you talk to your kids the more you might learn from them," Cannon said.


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