Attorney General Ashley Moody is encouraging Florida students and parents to take steps to ensure a safe summer break. Millions of Florida public school students start the longest school break of the year this week, providing opportunities for fun, family and relaxation, but also increasing the potential that students encounter dangerous situations.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “From synthetic drugs to online predators, the risks children face today are startling. As summer break begins, please speak to your children about the dangers of talking to strangers online and in public. Review apps, online games and social media accounts your child uses. Talk frequently to them about how using drugs, even once, can lead to a lifetime of addiction, incarceration or even death. Most importantly, be sure to regularly engage your child proactively by asking questions and listening. Encourage them to stay alert and away from situations that might put them at risk.”
Attorney General Moody is sharing the following tips from the Department of Homeland Security to help parents talk to children about online safety:
Don’t share too much information. Create a list of things children should never post or share online–like birthday dates, full names, addresses and phone numbers–and make sure they understand why it is important to keep this information private.
Be careful about what you post. The internet isn’t private. Once children share a post, picture or video, they cannot control how others will use it, and it can never be permanently deleted. Teach children to be thoughtful and cautious about what they post and share online.
Only connect with people you know. Predators can easily create fake profiles to hide their identities, so instruct children to only connect with friends they actually know in real life. Also check children’s privacy settings regularly to make sure strangers cannot see their profiles.
Keep locations private. Many apps, networks and devices have geo-tagging features which broadcast locations. This information could lead a stalker directly to a child, so make sure these features are deactivated.
Protect passwords. Create strong passwords for children and make sure they know to never share passwords with anyone except their parents or trusted adults.