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Attorney General Josh Stein Shares Tips to Keep Kids Safe Online During Summer Break

For Immediate Release:
Monday, July 1, 2024

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today shared tips to help families encourage children to stay safe online over the summer. The average eight- to 12-year-old spends between four and six hours online each day, while teenagers spend up to nine hours. While young people across the state enjoy time off from school, they may find themselves online for longer periods.

“Summer break is here for many kids across North Carolina, and they may end up spending more time on screens,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office is working hard to protect our young people wherever they are – including online – but it’s important for families to make sure the kids they love know how to stay safe and identify warning signs on the internet.”

Here are tips to help families stay safe this summer and beyond:

  • Stay ahead. Meet with your child to discuss family computer guidelines and what is expected of them while using the internet. Use Attorney General Stein’s Family Tech Agreement here to foster positive internet safety conversations.
  • Create safeguards against online predators. Make sure your family computer is in a common area, use child-safe browsers with privacy settings on, and monitor your child’s use of online messaging, screen names, and computer cameras.
  • Be on the lookout for warning signs. Your child may be at risk for online exploitation if they are spending large amounts of time on the internet at night, receiving calls or physical gifts from people you do not know, or hiding what they are doing on the computer.
  • Speak up. If your child is being bullied or threatened online, contact your internet service provider, local law enforcement, or the CyberTipline at 1-800-THE-LOST for more resources to further protect your child and others.
  • Make sure your teen is ready to be on social media. Most social networking sites require kids to be 13 before registering an account. Talk to your teen about utilizing privacy features on their accounts and not accepting friend requests from strangers. Remind them that anything they post online is no longer private, even if the messages “disappear”.

Youth online safety is a top priority for Attorney General Stein. Research has linked the increased amount of time on social media platforms to mental health damage and increased risk of self-harm and suicide. Social media can also expose children to content that depicts abuse and disturbing sexual images, which can warp their understanding of healthy and safe relationships. Last year, Attorney General Stein and 41 other bipartisan attorneys general sued Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, for allegedly designing their social media platforms to hook children and teenagers and deceiving the public by claiming that these platforms were safe and suitable for young users. He is also investigating TikTok.

To learn more about our office’s work on protecting kids online visit