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Here's what parents should be doing to keep their children safe online

Ilana Lowery with Common Sense Media says there are a few things about cyber safety parents need to know before handing a smartphone to their children.

PHOENIX — Kids are constantly on smart devices, and security can be an issue no matter what their age. 

Experts like Ilana Lowery with Common Sense Media says there are a few things about cyber safety parents and guardians need to know before handing over a smartphone to their tweens and teens.

"For some parents, it is quite shocking and so it's also really important to get them to talk to you but be comfortable enough to share," Lowery said.

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Lowery takes us straight to No. 1 on the list.

"Whether they're online for doing homework, or online goofing around playing video games, know what they're doing online," she said.

She says that way you can have an ongoing conversation about online content.

"When they do see something or do run across that is inappropriate or uncomfortable, they're not afraid to come and tell you," she added.

Lowery said parents and guardians should act as media mentors, explaining the negatives about online use. 

"Being online...doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn't effect you in your regular everyday life," Lowery said.

This tip is in reference to things like cyber bullying and photo shaming and sharing, things kids may not be aware of. 

"Treat the internet with your kids as though they're riding a bike, they're first learning to ride a bike," she said. 

"Younger kids, you're not going to let them out there without training wheels," she said.

This way, she says, when they're in apps, video games or a website, they know to avoid chats with strangers and steer clear of questionable content, ultimately for their own overall safety.

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