Expert online safety tips for kids and teens

Regular check-ins are key to online safety

InvestigateTV - More than half of teens and young adults admit to spending too much time on social media, according to the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). As a result, experts said it is crucial to regularly check-in to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Stephen Balkham, the CEO of FOSI, said you should be talking to your child about their online activities several times a month.

Balkham shared four tips to nurture good online behavior:

Check in with your children regularly: Set aside 10-15 minutes once a week to chat about their online activities.

Model good online behavior: Kids mimic your behavior. If they see you constantly on Facebook or checking email, they think they are allowed to do the same.

Research your child’s games and online devices: Know if they are using chats and playing age-appropriate games.

Disable credit cards attached to accounts or devices: You do not want surprise charges on your bill.

FOSI has created one-page safety agreements for young children and teens. The agreement has suggested rules for online time and there are even blank lines you and your child to fill out together to create your own rules for online activities.

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa

Rachel DePompa is NBC12's On Your Side Investigator. Before joining WWBT in March of 2008 Rachel worked in Roanoke, Bristol and Harrisonburg.