Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance launched a free online hub dedicated to keeping children safe while they use the internet.
The organization is encouraging parents and guardians to be proactive about the dangers that social media and digital devices can pose to children, especially if they have plenty of free time during the summer.
“We have reached a time when parents and professionals can no longer just focus on limiting screen time or taking the device away in order to keep children safe—that is an outdated scenario,” explains Angela M. Liddle, President and CEO of PFSA.
“Because of the nature of these platforms, how rapidly technology changes, and how adept child predators have become, we need to equip families and communities with the tools and resources they need to manage their children’s usage. Digital safety is no longer enough, we must prioritize their digital wellness.”
Much of society and the economy is now grounded in the digital world, and the FBI reports that from 2018 to 2020, cybercrime tips involving children more than doubled in the United States; in 2018 the FBI received 1,394 reports compared to 3,202 in 2020.
The Family Digital Wellness Hub is a free educational resource for caretakers to help foster a safe, healthy relationship between children and technology. The information is designed to be practical and easily digestible. The hub includes a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section, tips, interactive quizzes, fact sheets, and customizable action checklists.
First and foremost, PFSA suggests that all parents, caregivers, and communities adhere to the “Five Ps.”
- Pause to become aware of the dangers that threaten children online
- Prioritize your family’s urgent needs related to digital threats and safety
- Protect against current threats by creating and implementing a family digital safety plan
- Prevent the risk of future threats by practicing digital safety routinely
- Practice healthy interactions with digital technologies through transparent behavior and role modeling
The Family Digital Wellness Hub will be updated regularly with new free resources and materials.
From North Central PA News, July 8, 2022