With many parents and children working and learning from home due to social distancing, people are spending more time with technology. School administrators are in the process of having students learn off laptops at home to complete daily classwork. Taking laptops home and having more online time is a concern. However, during this time, it’s one of the only ways we can connect with others.
Parents can install apps and services to block certain websites and restrict screen time. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office recommends parents to have conversations with their kids about online safety and come together with some digital rules. Parents are encouraged to take advantage of the time we are at home with our kids by being proactive while our children are online. Some ways to be proactive are:
- All devices should be used in common areas such as living room, kitchen & dining room and visible to parents at any time. If you can’t see the screen, do you really know what is on it?
- Agreeing on a “downtime” to power off devices.
At bedtime, all devices can be charged in the parents’ room or an area away from children. Some kids will stay up all night playing online which makes them more at risk for online predators.
- Limit Wi-Fi and access to data.
- Parents should change the Wi-Fi passwords periodically and keep an eye on online usage.
Our favorite advice, encourage your children and each other to be creative and simply enjoy this extra time together. Family + games = a fun way of enjoying each other’s company even if it’s a bit longer and in smaller quarters than we are use to!
Working from home:
When a major health event – like the Coronavirus- happens, you might be looking for ways to help. Scammers use the same events to take advantage of your generosity. As more employees work from home basic security measures should be taken to protect from cyber criminals who are always ready to take advantage of lax security practices.
- Slow down. Don’t just click. Go directly to a reputable website to access content.
- Update your software. Be sure you’re running the most current version of security software.
- Lock down your login. Create a long and unique passphrase for accounts.
Remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19. Cyber criminals will send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution with any email with COVID-19 related subject line, attachments, or hyperlinks, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls reference COVID-19. Remember, always do your research before giving any money.
If you have become a victim of any online crime, please contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency number at 941-639-0013.