Children are becoming technologically savvy before they are even potty-trained, and most of them have access to a tablet or cell phone of some sort. Giving them access to the internet allows them to place themselves in dangerous situations. They do not have the same perception of the dangers that are present on the internet that we, as adults, do. Therefore, they navigate through the web without concerns of true danger.
The most obvious form of internet danger is predators, and most parents have already had the “do not talk to strangers” conversation before. However, since the internet is so vast, there are plenty of other threats. Here are a few that may be worth talking to your children about.
Phishing- Phishing is a crime that occurs when scammers target people to get access to their personal information by posing as legitimate businesses or institutions. With this personal information, scammers can gain entry into sensitive accounts and potentially perform identity theft or financial theft.
Cyberbullying- A lot of people find it easier to be mean when they are hiding behind a computer screen. This can result in cyberbullying, of which your child can be the victim or the perpetrator. This type of bullying can be harmful to children, so it should be properly addressed.
Malware- Malware is programming that is designed to cause harm to computers and networks while simultaneously breaking into personal accounts. This malware comes in the form of computer viruses, worms, a trojan, etc. They are enticing to children because they disguise themselves as other apps or games.
Inappropriate Content- There is so much content on the internet, and a majority of it is inappropriate for children. While your child may stay on the kid-friendly side of the internet, the odds that they will stumble across something inappropriate are very high.
To guarantee that your children do not fall for these internet dangers all it takes is some conversation and observation.
- Discuss internet safety and develop a safety plan
- Supervise your child’s internet usage
- Review the apps they use
- Examine and use the privacy controls and settings
- Clearly lay out what information cannot be shared
- Make sure they know that you are available for them to share any dangers they come across
It is not possible to watch over your children every single second while they are on the internet. The best you can do is make them aware of the dangerous aspects of the web.
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We hope this information on protecting your child on the internet is helpful to you.
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