COVID-19 pandemic heightens online risk for our youth

Before COVID-19 social media played an enormous role in children’s lives. Since the social distancing and stay at home orders have been enacted, apple phone users have reported their screen time usage has jumped significantly, users report anywhere from 38%-185% increase.


This increase puts youth at higher risk of online predators. Attackers are using this time to take advantage of children being online more often during times like these, which is why parents need to be more aware than ever before. 



We came up with our top three app recommendations that could help parents prevent their children from online abuse, and below these are an online :30 course called “Sex, Lies & Media” that will help both parents and teens become more aware of the dangers of child exploitation and sex trafficking recruitment online.


Net Nanny


Net Nanny is an app that uses artificial intelligence to block dangerous content before your child is able to see it. You have the ability to monitor your family’s digital habits, limit screen time and protect your family’s online browsing safety in real-time. This service offers different payment options ranging from $34.99-$84.99. 


OurPact


OurPact is an app that has multiple capabilities. You are able to set in app rules, screen time allowances, family locator (which allows you to see when your child is arriving/leaving a location as well as set zones for areas they travel to frequently), block texts, and filter the web. This service has multiple payment options as well. They offer a free LIMITED use option, a $1.99/per month PLUS option, and $6.99/per month PREMIUM all access option.  


Google Family Link


Family Link is a tool parents can use to teach their children how to explore the internet safely. Parents are able to see what their child is spending most of their time online doing. Through this, Family Link shows you teacher recommended apps that you can add directly to the child’s device. It also allows parents to remain up to date on their child’s location. This service offered is free through Google for children under the age of 13. 


These options help provide you with a variety of functions to help ensure your child’s safety online. Parents need to be actively involved in their child’s online presence during COVID-19, being vigilant ensures their safety and protect them from these online dangers.


Sex, Lies & Media

Selah Freedom launched the nation's first online training courses (called Sex, Lies & Media)  for parents and teens to help them gain awareness of sex traffic recruitment on the internet as many vulnerable teens are at home unsupervised and prey to internet solicitation. Our course is a 30 minute online course that we used to teach at schools across the country, but in light of Corona Virus, we have adapted it to be virtual. 



~ Olivia Bruno, Selah Freedom



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