• 66°

BBB urges parents to teach children about online safety

Better Business Bureau 

CHARLOTTE – According to the National Retail Federation, tablets and smartphones are among the top gifts that children want for Christmas this year.

“Although kids are very tech savvy, they are not scam savvy,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. “BBB urges parents to begin discussing online safety with children as soon as they are old enough to click on a mouse and play games online.”

Children are growing up with technology being part of their lives from the time they are born, and they are learning to use smartphones and computers before they can tie their own shoes.

In a 2012 survey from AVG, findings from U.S. children, ages 2 to 5 years old, may surprise you:

• 19 percent can operate a simple smartphone app

• 25 percent can make a mobile phone call

• 25 percent can open a web browser

• 61 percent can play a computer game

• 67 percent can operate a computer mouse

“Smartphones and computers have replaced television as the predominant education and entertainment media for children,” said Bartholomy. “The best way to keep your kids safe online is to supervise their screen time and discuss how to surf the Internet safely.”

BBB has advice for parents on how to talk to young children about online situations:

• Request for payment or financial information – Computer games and smartphone games may or may not be free. To prevent unwanted charges on your wireless bill, tell your child to check with you before clicking on “yes” or “okay” to anything online or on your phone.

• Request for personal information – Children often learn their name, address and phone number at an early age. Make sure your child understands that they cannot give out this information to anyone online.

• Inappropriate language – Children learn about “bad words” at an early age. Tell your child to let you know if anyone uses “bad” words when they are online.

• Stranger danger – Children are taught not to talk to strangers, but online, a stranger could pretend to be a friend or a teacher. Check out your child’s “friends” so you know who is chatting with your child online.

• Posting pictures online – By first grade, many kids know how to take pictures on a smartphone and upload the pictures to Facebook or Instagram. Tell your child that you must approve any pictures that they want to share with friends online.

• Bullying – Your child could be harassed online through social network posts, emails, or instant messages. Tell your child to let you know if anyone is being mean to them online.

• Friends and friend requests – Tell your child that he or she cannot be “friends” online with anyone whom you do not know. You should have the password to your child’s social media pages, and regularly review who their friends are and what they are sharing.

For more information about online safety, visit www.bbb.org.



Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators


Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police


Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies


After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status


39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual


Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership


Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education


After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both


East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status


Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame


Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame


J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine


13 deaths reported in Rowan, county stresses need to receive second dose


10% of Rowan residents receive first dose; eight COVID-19 deaths reported this week


North Carolina State Highway Patrol commander to retire


UNC School of the Arts may go for online learning due to COVID-19 spread


Greensboro site to administer 3,000 daily vaccine doses starting March 10


Update: $1.9 trillion relief bill passes House, moves on to Senate


Lady Gaga’s dogs recovered safely


Update: FDA follows advisers’ recommendation, OKs single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J


Post wins 18 N.C. Press Association Awards


Cooper vetoes bill that would force K-12 schools to reopen


Lanning named Spencer’s fire chief