5-Stones Highlight Sites To Help Monitor Children’s Online Activity

(Beaver Dam) A local anti-human trafficking group is highlighting several resources aimed at helping parents keep better track of their children’s online activity. The internet, specifically social media, is used as a hunting ground for predators and human traffickers. As the medium continues to evolve, the gap between parental understanding and child access grows wider. 5-Stones Dodge County Founder Traci Scheffler says kids nowadays know social media in a way that adults no longer do. During a recent WBEV’s Community Comment, Scheffler shared several websites that can help parents close that gap.

She says one site is defend-young-minds.com which has free and for-purchase guides for online safety. Another site is common-sense-media who look at age-appropriateness and give one to five star ratings for quality and educational value. Scheffler says common-sense-media also provide guides for parents on how to discuss pornography, body safety skills, and digital skills with their kids. She says another site that has helpful information is national-online-safety.com.

Scheffler says they have warnings about specific sites as well as action steps parents or guardians can take. She says one of her favorite things about national-online-safety.com is that they call out specific apps, games, and sites including OnlyFans.

Scheffler says OnlyFans is a creative art site where users self-post about different subjects such as cooking, fitness, or crafts. However, she notes that the platform also has unfiltered adult images and was called the porn capital of the pandemic. She says once pictures or videos have been uploaded they can be leaked or pirated by others to use for sextortion. Scheffler says this leads to a negative digital footprint which can effect future job searches or college applications.

Scheffler called out another social media site for its effect on kids. She says according to the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, Instagram was ranked the worst for young people’s mental health.

https://www.defendyoungminds.com/

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

https://nationalonlinesafety.com/

PAVE’s crises line is 920-887-3810, their 800 number is 1-800-775-3785, and their texting line is 920-344-0123.

To call the Dodge County Adult Protective Services unit dial 920-386-3580. For Child and Adolescent Services call 920-386-3750.

The Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888.