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National Be Someone Day - An Opportunity for Protecting Children, Teens Online

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Blog topics:  Archive

By Chetrice Mosley Romero

July 21st is National Be Someone Day. Each year, this day challenges each of us to take a little bit of time out of our day to make a difference in the life of a child. As society continues to grow to an online setting for, seemingly, everything we do, it is important that we do everything we can to protect children online.

There are always challenges that come from our friends, even family members, or other people with whom we communicate with online, whose requirements for being verified – at any given moment – is an issue that causes us concern. Maybe it’s as simple as someone coming to you saying their old account got hacked, so they made a new one. Or it could be something much more complex, with someone you don’t know trying to set you up with a phishing scam. The same measure of risk is there for our kids when they’re online.

A good way for determining the true identify of this person online would be like what you would tell children and teenagers about strangers. Ask them a question that requires an answer that would be hard to find online, such as a middle name, or the name of a sibling, or even the name of one of their pets. You could even develop a phrase for your children to use that anyone who might want to connect with them needs to know.

Norton security offers some helpful tips on how to protect your kids online, including:

  • Following the recommended age limits for apps, such as Instagram, Facebook, etc.
  • Visit and learn more about the sites yourself before letting kids on
  • Check the privacy settings of each site
  • Check device settings and manage them yourself
  • Set clear rules for your children
  • Educate your children on what to look for in scams or “catfishing” attempts

The other way to “be someone today” is by maintaining a strong security plan to help guide a child’s or teenager’s online experiences. In addition to needing the internet for school, it’s likely they’ll be using a phone, laptop, or other type of a mobile device – just for fun - that connects to the internet, even video games.

Along the way, they’ll be interacting with people in each of those categories. If they’re at home, it’s important to always make sure that the router or Internet connection you’re using is secure. It’s a good idea, too, to take the time to educate them about protecting themselves and being safe whenever (and wherever) they’re online. Make sure that you are aware and monitoring any accounts or apps they are using. Depending on their age, you probably have more experience on the internet than they do; you know the warning signs. As they get older, that’s likely to change, but you can help with that by always encouraging them to communicate any concerns or suspicions they’ve experienced while on the Internet.

Today is a day all about making a positive impact on the lives of children. The internet and cybersecurity are a prime example for demonstrating how to “Be Someone” and providing a positive influence in young lives of those around you.