Whether it's a phone, a tablet or a laptop, kids are being exposed to digital devices at a younger and younger age.
That early exposure also gives them a technical edge over their parents who, more often than not, did not grow up in today's digital world.
"They've been born and are being raised in a digital world and us as parents, we're trying to catch up with our kids," said mom and blogger Tiany Davis.
When kids have a device that gives them access to the whole world, parents have a whole new realm of responsibility.
Davis says her four boys are on some sort of digital device every day. Davis herself, works online running several websites, including
. She says protecting her kids online is a daily challenge.
"I don't think a day goes by that I don't talk about their online safety in one way or another. Maybe it's just a little, hey what are you doing?" said Davis.
The Davis house also has strict rules about when and where devices can be used. For example, no devices are allowed at the dinner table or in bedrooms. Anything with a screen has active parental controls that can filter and restrict websites, videos, music and apps. Davis also advises not sharing any passcodes or passwords with your kids who could accidentally share personal information.
However, restriction is only half the battle. Hackers and predators have other ways to break through your family's firewall, and right into your children's curiosity.
Computer forensic examiner Sgt. Brian Blache explains that the more information posted online, the more a person is exposed. Even limited online profiles can reveal vital information to predators.
"They don't realize that the folks on the other side may not be who they say they are," said Blache.
In his job, Blache often uses public photos and comments on social media to gather clues about where a person may be, who they may know or what they may be involved in. Predators can use info like that to try and strike up a relationship.
"The children tend to be more trusting, because they haven't had the experience," said Blache.
Then, there's what kids do to deceive parents. Blache says geek speak, or acronyms, can be a hurdle for parents. While most, like "LOL" are well known and harmless, some are more sinister and used to ask for pictures, drugs or sexting. CNN recently published this
that parents should know:
- I want sex now
- Get naked on camera
- Naked in front of computer
- Parent in room
- See you for sex
- Parent watching
- Party meeting place
- That hoe over there
- Acid (the drug)
- Hungover from alcohol
- Parent over shoulder
- Suggestive or erotic photo
- Kiss on the lips
- Let's meet in real life
- Talk dirty to me
Parents around/Code 9
- I'm posting naked
- Let's have sex
- Want to trade pictures?
- Drug of choice
- Texting while driving
- Get your pants off
- Keeping parents clueless
The internet can also be a parent's best asset. Everything parents need to know about restricting devices, decoding texts and even monitoring their kids digital activity can be found online. Here are a few links we found:
For general internet safety:
For tips on protecting kids online: http://batonrougemoms.com/internet-safety/