Utah NetSmartz

Our Blog

Take a seat, we will share with you what we have been up to and some of the new things we have learned about Internet safety!

Internet safety blog

How to Know More About Apps

New apps come out every day, which makes it difficult to stay up to date on the latest and greatest new app. As a parent this is a frustrating reality, but you don’t have to stay in the dark. A website called SaferKid seeks to help parents to be able to quickly look up information about apps.  The founders have reviewed more than 1,000,000 apps. All you need to do is enter the app you want to find out more information about into the search bar in the app directory, and you have access to age recommendations, risks, and in depth information about that app. This can help when you see a new app on your child’s phone and you don’t know what it does, or your child wants to download a new app.

The website also provides a service for $59.99 per year, where they scan your child’s phone apps to detect unapproved and non age appropriate apps.

Check out this great resource for parents.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Tell if Your Child is Being Groomed by a Predator

It used to be that parents would worry about predators meeting their child in the park. Predators go to where the kids are, and lots of kids are now online. Also, predators can reach more kids in more areas online. Predators used to try and lure a child into a car by using candy, puppies, or saying that the child’s parents said it was ok to pick them up.

Now predators use other techniques to win a child’s trust. Predators win kids trust through a process we call grooming. They will tell the child that they have the same interests as them, they may send them gifts, and they will sometimes say that they are the same age as the child. Predators manipulate kids emotions to make them feel guilty or ashamed about telling a parent. They will often talk to kids about adult subjects and ask them to send revealing pictures or videos, which they will use to blackmail the child into doing more.

It is important to keep an open line of communication with your child. Regularly chat with them about what they like to do online, and who they are talking with online. From a parents’ perspective grooming will look a bit different.

Here are some signs of grooming from Netsmartz.org you should look for. Check if your child is:

  • Receiving gifts through the mail, like bus tickets, cell phones and webcams.
  • Calling unknown numbers.
  • Rejecting family and friends in favor of spending time online.
  • Getting upset when he or she can’t get online.
  • Minimizing the screen or turning off the monitor when you come into the room.

If your child has been speaking with a predator, be very calm when they come to you for help. It has probably taken a lot of courage to come and talk to you. The predators are very good at making a child feel that they have no one to talk to. Once you know that they have been talking to a predator, go to your local police department to report them. It is important to get the police involved so that you can help your child get access to resources to help them get away from the predator

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 Min Video: New Texting & Social Media Acronyms Parents Need to Understand

Fox 13 News interviews Utah NetSmartz’ Executive Director, Max Rogers, who provides parents timely and practical advice about the most current ‘encrypted’ acronyms that some teens are using online and via mobile channels to discuss inappropriate topics under the radar of niave parents. Watch the 4 min video below to make sure you are up to date:


What Parents Need To Know

As parents we may not realize how much our kids can do on their phones, iPads, and any other technological device that they may have. It may seem overwhelming at times to think about our kids using technology because they literally have the world at their fingertips. The good news is that there is a lot we can do to protect them. This article gives great tips on how to keep our kids safe without completely eliminating technology from their lives.

West Point Jr. High Online Predator Scare

West Point Jr. High School, in Davis school district, had a run in with a potential online predator last November. The event occurred just one week after we provided an Internet Safety assembly to the students there. Due to the information presented during the assembly, the West Point Jr High students who received contact from the predator, reported them immediately. Below is a link to the news article. Being involved with an organization that is helping to protect Utah’s youth from online dangers is so rewarding!

– KSL 4 Utah Video Clip/News Article –