Protecting kids online: Study shows Utah laws are some of the most supportive in the country

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5/28/2019 – A new study conducted by SafeWise revealed, “Utah has some of the most supportive laws in the country when it comes to protecting kids online.”  

In honor of ‘Internet Safety Month’ and to help keep kids safe from online threats, SafeWise, the professional review and comparison website shared a free ‘Internet Safety Guide for Kids.’  

Some of the top online threats for kids, according to SafeWise includes cyberbullying, online predators and inappropriate content.

Cyberbullying refers to any aggressive or threatening behavior using an electronic device. “Almost 34% of kids age 12-17 have been cyberbullied at some point in their life,” according to SafeWise

Another risk that children face are online predators, where adults use the internet to entice children for sexual or abusive exploitation. The study shows, “girls make up 78% of child victims” when it comes to online enticement. 

Exposure to inappropriate content, according to SafeWise is the most common online threats that kids encounter. Children are impressionable and being exposed to content like hate speech or sexual images have a harmful effect, according to the study. 

Ways to protect your kids from online threats include knowing the risks. The study shows that understanding cyberbullying, how it happens and how to spot it is important to “encourage your child to be on the lookout for any interactions that make them feel bad, scared, or sad.” 

Talk about it, SafeWise suggests having discussions with your child on what types of communication are acceptable and unacceptable. Your child needs to feel safe talking to you about things that make them uncomfortable. 

Keeping track of what your kids do online is another tip the study gives. If your kids are on social media, make sure you have full access to their accounts and use parental control software. 

Setting boundaries on screen time and let your kids know you are checking their online activities regularly. Surround yourself with people you trust and will look out for your child online, the study suggests enlisting “support from school, sports, and church leaders.” 

Be prepared to respond, have a gameplan and learn how to respond to difficult situations in case they arise.  For more tips, visit safewise.com 

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