Parenting in the digital (and coronavirus) world

With schools closed and kids stuck at home because of the coronavirus outbreak, keeping them entertained can be difficult—and many teens are spending more time on their mobile devices.

But one in 5 teens who regularly log onto the internet say they’ve received an unwanted sexual solicitation. Yet only 25% of them told a parent.

Cellphones make it so easy for your teen to connect with strangers. How can you keep your child safe?

We have some apps to watch out for.

Today, 95% of teens in the U.S. own a cellphone or tablet. These devices make communication a cinch, but they also make it easier for sexual predators to target kids.

Experts say criminals are taking advantage of online apps.

Kik allows anyone to contact and directly message your child. Whisper is an anonymous social networking app that promotes sharing secrets with strangers. Hot or Not lets users rate others’ profiles, check out people in their area, and chat with strangers. Ask.fm encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them questions. Calculator is a secret app that allows your teen to hide photos, videos, files, and browser history.

To protect your child, make sure you approve every app on their phone before they download it. Also tell them never to post their address, phone number, or location -- or respond to numbers they don’t know.

And be aware, Tik Tok and Snapchat are very popular, but more and more often, predators are posing as teens on these sites.

For a complete list of possibly dangerous apps, go to www.familyeducation.com/.