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5 Tips for Parents with Kids on Social Media

5 Tips for Parents with Kids on Social Media

Female police chief with therapy dog

Kelly Bakken, a Chippewa Valley Technical College Criminal Justice graduate, chose a career in law enforcement because she wanted to be “the voice for people who didn’t have a voice or that couldn’t speak up,” she said. 

Before she became the Altoona Police Chief, she was an investigator. She was able to be that voice for children who couldn’t speak and for murder victims who no longer had a voice.

“I got to do what was right for them,” Bakken said. 

She continues her role as a voice of warning today by reminding parents that social media and the internet continue to be a dark place, but with safety measures in place kids can utilize appropriate social media safely. Bakken gives five tips to keep kids safe in this ever-evolving technological world.

  1. Monitor your kids online. You need to know everything they’re doing, she said. You need to be able to shut the devices down for them. Today, kids have access to social media 24/7. Sometimes they’re getting bullied by other kids on social media.
  2. Keep kids’ devices out of their bedrooms. Chief Bakken urges parents to have children use their devices in a public area of the house.

  3. Turn off the chat options. Games today typically offer the ability to interact with other people. We don’t know who these people are, Bakken said. 

  4. Turn on the parental controls. Typically, the devices have parental controls and gaming platforms have controls as well. Bakken said to turn the controls on.

  5. Talk to your kids about what dangers lie behind the screen. Explain why they should not share personal information like their name, age, birth date, city or specific location. 

“No one should be sharing personal information on social media,” Bakken said. “You should not have your location turned on because people can track where you live.”

She said to have a conversation with the kids in your life about what’s going on in their lives. Ask about their friends and what happened at school, Bakken said. Parents can help to stop internet crimes in their tracks.

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