As moms and dads prepare to send their kids back to school soon, one critical item needs to be included on the checklist: checking out all online platforms their kids are using — and starting conversations early about cyber safety.
Kids and teens between the ages of 8-28 spend about 44.5 hours each week in front of digital screens, according to the nonprofit Center for Parenting Education.
This makes it crystal clear that parents need to be tuned in and very educated about what, exactly, their kids are doing during those hours.
Liz Repking, founder of Cyber Safety Consulting in Chicago, Illinois, started her company about 13 years ago. Her mission is to help parents protect their kids online; she now offers programs for kids, too.
Parents need to take the time to sit down and learn as much as they can about all of the different platforms their kids are active on, Repking told Fox News Digital in a recent phone interview.
“Most parents want a piece of software that will make this problem go away — but you cannot outsource parenting,” she said.
“Parents tend to think of all of these problems [with online predators] as technology problems — but these are actually parenting issues that involve technology.”
There are predators that “spend a lot of hours” attempting to groom children, warned Repking.