As much as it is hard for many parents to believe this, we still cannot change the truth that the internet can be a dangerous place for children and teens. If you think your children are safe within the confines of the internet, you are wrong because they are susceptible to numerous online dangers as they browse the web on their digital devices.
From cyberbullying to cyber-predators to social media posts that can revive to haunt them later in life, the dangers of the internet can be traumatizing for children and teens. Unwittingly, children may even expose themselves and their families to online risks such as by accidentally downloading malware on their devices. Under such circumstances, the use of a reliable parental control solution becomes a must.
As time is moving forward, we see technology and the internet of things making tremendous advancement. With advanced technology, the responsibility of keeping children protected on the internet is becoming increasingly inevitable.
Keeping children safe on the internet is the first and foremost responsibility of every parent. At the same time, children’s online safety is a matter of awareness. Parents must know what sort of online dangers lurk on the online platforms and social media sites and how to protect children against them.
Undoubtedly, installing parental control software can be a great help for protecting children from online threats but the most important safety measure is having a discussion with them.
Let’s talk about some of the most common online dangers children and teens face on the internet and how to fight against them.
Cyberbullying remains the top online danger that most children and teens face online. As per internetsafety101.org, it is reported that 90 percent of teens using social media have deliberately ignored the bullying they’ve witnessed on the platforms and one-third of them have been victims of cyberbullying themselves.
Social media and online gaming platforms are the two virtual playgrounds where most of the cyberbullying incidents take place. Children can easily get mocked in social media conversations. Even during an online game session, disguised as their character players, they attack each otherusing profane language and offensive comments.
The best way to keep your children safe from cyberbullying is to ask them what is going on in their lives and who are they interacting with and what sort of messages they are exchanging with others on the internet. Also, teach them how to stand up against bullies.
Sexual predators lurk on the internet and come off as one of the biggest online threats that children face. These predators stalk children on the internet, especially on social media and online gaming platforms, take advantage of their innocence only to abuse their trust and then lure them into dangerous personal meetings.
The sexual predators often disguise as kids of their age and pretend to be their close friends. Taking advantage of children’s naivety, these predators become friends with them so they can demand inappropriate pictures and videos from them. Later, they sell the same content to the dark internet for a good price or blackmail children and their families to get money from them.
While you can consider installing the best parental control on your children’s devices, we would still suggest you communicate with them and ask what is happening in their lives. It is better to ask them if a stranger is trying to maintain a contact with them.
Posting and Sharing Private Information
Many children and teens do not realize the consequences before posting and sharing personal information on their social media profiles. They post and share something private on their profile without realizing that everything remains permanent on the internet. Even if they do take it down, the data will still remain stored online.
The same content that they shared on their social media profile may come back again to haunt them later in life. Some of the pictures and videos may be too private or even embarrassing for others to see and when they resurface on the internet, children’s reputation may be at a huge risk. Such content can create problems for them especially at the time of getting an admission to a college or finding a job at some organization.
Children should know and understand that everything they post and share on the internet will not be deleted and remain permanent. Therefore, they should be extremely careful before uploading anything. Besides making them learn how to use the internet safely and responsibly, you can keep tabs on their online activity by installing a parental control app on their digital devices.
Accidentally Downloading Malware
Malware is computer software that is installed on someone’s computer without their knowledge and permission. This software is a dangerous virus, aimed to perform harmful actions on the victim’s computer such as stealing personal information from the device.
Cybercriminals often trick people into downloading and installing malware on their computers. Children are easier to trick, hence they become an easy target for cybercriminals. They download the virus on their computer, thinking of it as some random online game.
The best way to prevent your children from downloading malware on their computers is to educate them about the dangerous viruses out there and to what extent they can be damaging. Moreover, you can also install antivirus software to protect your child’s computer against any virus that tries to sneak into it.
Last but not least, install a parental control app on their computer to monitor their online activity and safeguard them against online dangers.