Keeping children safe online

Make sure your children are safe

Kids spend a lot of time completing school work online, and all that internet time could leave them vulnerable.

Bullying is no longer confined to the playground. These days, students have ample opportunity to put each other down.

"Now it's much more online where the bullying occurs," says Paula Fleming, chief marketing officer for the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.

The Better Business Bureau says it's important to set clear boundaries. Make sure your kids know what's acceptable to say online, and what to do if they're being bullied.

"Start the conversation now, right before school starts," says Fleming. "It's imperative to the children making good decisions when they're online and in school."

Unfortunately, kids have to worry about more than just their classmates.

They can be targeted by identity thieves, or – even worse – sexual predators.

"It's very scary times for parents," says Fleming.

Experts say you've got to do more than just trust your kids.

"The children are extremely trusting and also naive when they're online," says Fleming.

Make sure they share all passcodes.

The Better Business Bureau also recommends downloading apps that can monitor their online activity, like mSpy or PhoneSheriff.

"Download software to whatever devices your children are using, whether it be a smartphone, a chrome book," says Fleming.

You can also download free apps like Google+ or Glimpse, which track your child's location.

"So, if after school they're supposed to be at soccer practice and you're at work, you can actually see," says Fleming. "Are they at the location they're supposed to be at?"

Experts also suggest collecting all technology before bedtime, and returning it at an appropriate time the next day.

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