NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – From cyberbullying to social networking, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues.
At just 3, Juliet Armada already knows how to work an iPhone.
“She knows the code to unlock it. She goes right to YouTube Kids,” said her dad Christopher Armada.
Christopher says she never does it alone, however.
“We monitor all the time she spends on the phone, the iPad, TV,” he said.
It’s a rule he plans on enforcing until she gets older. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, 93% of teens aged 12-17 are online on a regular basis. As kids grow up in a digital age, many parents and guardians are finding it hard to censor everything.
“It will constantly be changing, so it’ll be a constant learning curve,” said grandparent Mary Beth Davis.
Many doing it in their own ways.
“She doesn’t go on the computer,” said grandmother Ginger Ramsay.
“Kids copy everything parents do,” said mother Ekaterina Ercan. “I try not to use my phone a lot when I am with him at home.”
“For a teen, I monitor my child because she doesn’t have any social media. We don’t allow it,” said parent Netty Sarran.
To help promote a more responsible use of online technology, organizations have created a global day of awareness called Safer Internet Day, which will be be on Feb. 11 this year.
“The first thing is to understand what your children are doing online, having those talks with them before they even get connected,” said digital family and screen time expert Theresa Desuyo, who works with Qustodio.
Desuyo says if your kids or teens are online, they should consider using an alias.
“Some codename. Not posting certain pictures of themselves that might incite certain people to connect with them,” Desuyo said.
She advises younger online users to stay away from hashtags, since that’s how some online predators search for their victims. Parents too should avoid using hashtags like “#bathtime,” “#splishsplash,” “#kidsswimwear” and “#toddlerbikini.”
“You put up a hashtag and all of a sudden, people know that your profile, your child is in that hashtag,” Desuyo said.
She also recommends download parental control software like Qustodio to monitor and track online activity.
Parents should also keep in mind the four most used apps for kids and teens are YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram.