The internet is the fastest platform for information dissemination. Videos can now be streamed, pictures downloaded, and stories on newspapers now featured in online news portals. Furthermore, meeting new people has become dangerously easy through social media websites. As a parent, you should be aware of not just the advantages but also disadvantages of these growing trends.
If the internet has become this complex yet very easy to use, how can we keep our kids safe from unfiltered information? Though the internet is both a helpful tool for research and a convenient medium of expression, children are vulnerable to offensive content online if you don’t monitor their internet use.
As a parent, it’s vital you know about internet security concerns your children face every day while surfing the web. Here are three reasons why you should learn about internet security:
Familiarize yourself with computers and internet use. You need to be knowledgeable about these things so that you will not have a hard time setting up parental controls. Teenagers nowadays are more tech-savvy than their parents. Some even know how to tweak and bypass parental controls in their computers. You should be able to keep your children away from undesirable places online: block different adult websites and explicit web content. These things can easily be found through search engines and they can negatively influence the fragile minds of your kids.
Your Child is Exposed to Online Paedophiles
In 2011, a 12-year old girl was raped by a 28-year old guy. He tricked the girl using Facebook by telling her he was only 13-years old and was affiliated with Disney, which got him into an accident. Even the parents were duped by the guy and were convinced by the lies he told them. The girl’s father even accompanied her to see the guy. Paedophiles leverage the ease and convenience brought by the internet to prey on children and trick their parents, and your child may be at risk.
Billions of people all over the world use the internet not just via their computers but also through mobile devices. Access to the internet has been made easy not just for you, but also your children. When your children are browsing the web, they may be exposed to paedophiles lurking around cyberspace. If it’s possible, do not let your children use social media websites if they are too young to understand. In case you’ve already let them create an account on social media sites, you have to verify its privacy settings to ensure your kid’s privacy is protected.
Identity Theft and Bullying
Parents should also be aware that cybercrimes are rampant nowadays. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to this type of criminal activity. A single slip-up in a status update or a hint regarding a password unwittingly dropped in a comment exchange can lead to fraud and identity theft. Identity theft occurs when hackers and internet criminals use personal information obtained from random people they find using the internet. The man who raped the 12-year old girl changed his name on Facebook, uploaded pictures and stole personal information from a 13-year old kid for his own use. According to reports, he tried to use different identities to connect with different girls.
Furthermore, the ease and convenience that digital technology affords can also be used for cyberbullying. Abuse through insults, jeers, and even offensive images can be just as traumatising as physical bullying. In fact, given the proliferation of social networking, cyberbullying is far more rampant than actual bullying in schools.
The freedom in cyberspace can spawn genuine dangers for children if their parents do not get involved with internet security. The internet can be as dangerous as the real world, and your children need digital protection. It’s imperative you know enough about the risks and dangers online so you can keep your kids safe at all times.
Guest Post by- MoneyMax
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