The coronavirus poses nearly no threat to youth but with kids home from school for at least another two weeks, that doesn't mean they are clear of any trouble.
A nationally known expert in the field of child exploitation says it is imperative, especially during this downtime when kids will have more time to be on online social platforms for parents to monitor the things their kids are doing.
Rich Wistocki with Be Sure Consulting indicates there are so many ways kids could find themselves the targets of online predators and he is imploring parents to be mindful of the things kids are doing, not just on electronic devices like phones or tablets, but also gaming systems.
TikTok is one of the worst social media platforms for kids to be on currently. Wistocki says even though kids are likely isolated from other kids right now, it is still important for parents to monitor their activity on networks like TikTok.
The new Call of Duty video game has been a hot spot for targeting and exploiting youth in recent months. According to Wistocki, the game is very interactive and warns parents and kids of people who want to take them off the game and talk.
Wistocki points parents or guardians to very effective and innovative software for electronic devices to install on your phone and your child's phone to monitor what they are doing. He also advises parents to buy their kids only Android devices to start.
Wistocki was in Clinton last year at The Vault and was set to be back next week but because of the coronavirus pandemic, his appearance has been postponed. He and the DeWitt County Substance Abuse Coalition, who coordinated his appearance, hope to find time for a special webinar series he has.
In the meantime, Wistocki says parents can get 30-percent off their bark.us for their subscription by visiting besureconsulting.com. For parents, Wistocki points them to his website as well for more information and resources on keeping your kids safe while online.