Law enforcement: More computer time for kids should mean more parent supervision

It's an even more important role for parents during this time.

JOPLIN, Mo. – There’s a new warning from Missouri’s attorney general’s office and other law enforcement members, and it deals with children’s increased online activity during this time.

Computers and the internet have become even more part of our lives during this time of social distancing.  Law enforcement officials say human traffickers or other bad actors may use this increased online presence as a way to contact, groom, and exploit children.  Officials offer some tips, including:  Making sure computers and other internet-enabled devices are in the shared spaces of home, not in your child’s bedroom or behind closed doors.  Adults should be present and involved with a child installs a new app on their device.  Also, set up strict privacy settings on your child’s devices.

“We need to educate ourselves,” says Matt Smith with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.  “There’s nothing wrong with looking up what the app does, or what that social media page offers to its users, or how an online video game is set up.  There’s nothing wrong with us, as parents, doing research so that we know what our children are doing online.”
“A really good rule of thumb is that for the most part, personal mobile devices really don’t need to be in a bedroom.  They don’t need to go into the bathroom with our kids.  They don’t need to be left in the bedroom overnight,” says Smith.
Officials want to remind parents that children can definitely use their online time for many good purposes, like an online school classroom or online church group.  But no matter what, it’s important you monitor their online activity.