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5 steps parents can take to protect their kids online

Aug 22, 2023, 5:41 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm

Earlier this month, Governor Spencer Cox introduced a new campaign called Social Harms to warm against the dangers of social media. The goal of the new TV ads the stat launched this month is to keep kids safe online.

The ad showcases kids wearing masks to hide the unbearable pain that can be caused by using social media.

“Social media isn’t inherently good or bad– it’s how we use it and the content,” Governor Cox said in a press conference.

The campaign is in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Commerce.

Parents may be wondering how they can keep their students safe despite the threats they face on social media. Aimee Winder Newton, Director of Office of Families, suggested five simple steps parents can take to protect their kids online as they head back to school.

1.      Create a family plan

“Make sure that you know what the rules are that you have those boundaries set and that you’ve communicated that to your family,” Newton said.

2.      Create tech-free zones

“Having tech-free zones where you’ve got phones put away before bedtime, during mealtime you can do other family activities with phones put away, that’s really critical,” Newton advised.

3.      Model responsible behavior

The third one is it’s important for parents to be good examples of how often to use devices. I know I’m guilty of this– we all are of using our devices too much. But for kids to have to compete with Instagram for our parents attention. It sends a pretty powerful message

4.      Work with other parents

The fourth one is to chat with your kids friends parents and establish common rules that you can all band together to implement,” she said.

5.      Reconsider when to let kids have social media

And that last one is, reconsider when you’re going to let your kids have social media. If you have pre-teens, delay and let them know ahead of time, you may not get social media until you’re 18 or until you’re almost an adult,” Newton said.

For more information, visit Socialharms.utah.gov

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