WASHINGTON, Dec. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following is a statement by Reginald Corbitt, Founder of SafeCyber.

Digital devices are the top things on the list to get everyone this year but mostly for children. Whether you’re purchasing for the first time or upgrading your child’s device they will be joining the statistics that say 95% of teens have access to a smartphone, and 45% say they are online 'almost constantly' with YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat being the most popular (Pew Research). If you’re that parent that’s to buy a smartphone, games console or tablet computer for your child, here are a few things to consider before gifting that new digital device.

  1. Real things happen in the digital world. The digital landscape is now most children’s reality. They are meeting real people, having real conversations and dealing with real issues and it’s all happening on digital platforms. Whether you buy them a device is not as important as helping them to use it appropriately and safely. The “Tech Talk” - talking to them about their online life - is just as important as the OTHER talk. Take time to listen even though you may not understand the text lingo. At least your child will know that you are willing to learn which can lead to them opening about issue involving them or their friends. 
  2. You are the first line of defense. The same posture you take with protecting your child in the real world you should take when protecting them online. You can’t be with them physically everywhere they go in life, so you teach them things that will help them stay safe in the world. Like don’t talk to strangers, only go to the place you gave them permission to go to and always look for a way out in case of an emergency. You can’t be with them every time they go online but you can teach them to navigate safely using the same principals you teach them about the real world. Don’t befriend people online you don’t know. Don’t download apps without your permission. If you someone you don’t know does reach out to you online here’s what you should do. Information is one of the best tools a parent can give a child to help them stay safe in the digital world.
  3. Social Media Influence. What we give the most time to is what influences us. The more time a child spends having access to the internet it same time to the internet having access to them. There are people who spend hours online preying on children in gaming rooms and social media. It’s all the do and after they’ve spent time online grooming them (when someone builds an online relationship with a young person and tricks them or pressures them into doing something sexual), their goal is to meet with them in person to have sex with them or worst. Social media is the new platform for human trafficking and prostitution. Some children meet predators offline and never return home.
  4. Learn about parental controls. There’s no quantity of parental controls that replace the need for intentional parenting in today’s digital age, but you can be one step closer in digital parental master by having knowledge of the device your child owns. One of the first things you should ask or research when purchasing a device is what parental controls come with the device. Guarantee your child will have more knowledge than you on how the device works at some point but letting them know that you know at least puts you in the digital game.

There’s a lot of focus on the age a child should receive a phone but not enough on if you, the adult, is ready to teach them how to use it the right way and help them manage their use of it. Technology is great when used correctly and appropriately. So, if you want to monitor your child’s device without having to see everything text message they send and receive Bark is the app for you. Bark's affordable and award-winning service proactively monitors text messages, YouTube, emails and 24 different social networks for potential safety concerns, so parents can save time and gain peace of mind. Click here to learn more and try it FREE for 30 days. Not wanting to sound cliché, but if your child is connected online it’s not a matter of if they’ll experience something inappropriate, difficult or cruel online but a matter of when. We must do our best as parents to help them become the best digital citizens they can be. 

Reginald Corbitt is the founder of SafeCyber, an informational website whose mission is to educate communities and create a culture of safe connectivity. They provide actionable information that's easy to understand along with tools and resources needed to stay safe and secure while living in the "Internet of Things" age. He travels state to state raising awareness about cyber safety topics such as Cyberbullying, Social Media Ethics, Digital Reputation and Digital Age Parenting. Reginald has spoken at regional and national conferences on cyber safety topics and has written several articles which have been submitted and read globally.  He is also often interviewed in the media as a cyber safety authority.

For More Information Contact:
Taroue Brooks

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b5f08537-0da8-43b5-a47c-7d2bb9271677