Digital technology is changing the world. The childhood of the kids has got the influence of technology as more and more kids going online. According to UNICEF’s State of the World Children 2017: Children in a Digital World report unveils that youth ages 15-24 are more likely to connect with cyberspace. More than 71% of kids have internet access as compared to the 48% whole population. Moreover, 1 out of three children is using the internet on cellphone devices. The children’s continuous presence in the digital world could be nasty for the kids than the real –world. Now the question arises why the online world is dangerous for the kids? Let’s get to know about some facts that can help you out understand it to the fullest.
The Digital World Enables the Kids to have Unprotected Social Media Profiles
It was not easy for the bullies, child traffickers, and convicted and non-convicted sex offenders to approach children in real –life. But, the sharing of media and unprotect social media profiles of the children have made it easier for cyber predators to contact the kids online. Nowadays, predators online can share the abused images of children to encourage other convicts to commit more crimes. The rise and the rise of social media connectivity and presence on online game forums have made kids more vulnerable to cyber predators.
Sex Offenders are Anonymous than Ever Before
Currently, the sexual predators have an edge to stay anonymous, unable to identify, and more likely to get escape from the prosecution – the networks of the online predators are increasing, and they can approach and pursue several kids online at the same time. Thus, children’s privacy is at stake in the digital world than the real–world. Parents are less aware of the fact that how much data, personal information kids and teens are feeding to the internet. Thus, no child on the earth is safe, but most vulnerable kids in real–life most likely to suffer the harms online.
Smartphones & Social Media are Fueling Bedroom Culture
The young internet users are facing dangers and risks by using digital devices like cellphones. The bombardments of the social media platforms are enabling strangers to contact young kids online all over the world. Therefore, anonymity from both sides is possible in the digital world. Online predators and young victims can easily hide their identity while talking on cyberspace with the use of smartphones installed on social networks.
Children having internet access on cellphone devices are becoming less supervised, more private, and more personal these days. Malla M’jid, UN special representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against children, said that.
Therefore, sexual predators and cellphone obsession among children are evolving and moving. So, we can say that smartphones connected to the cyberspace are fueling bedroom culture, and teens always want to stay in their bedrooms and with the virtual dangers. The digital predator could turn into a real-life offender later on and harm any child connected to the internet by using social networks.
Digital World Bringing Diverse Range of Harms & Risk for Kids
Over a few years, researchers have made their efforts and have come to the point that there are three types of risks involved with the kids online.
Digital World & Content Risks for Kids
Nowadays, young kids and more likely teens get encounters with inappropriate content. Most kids these days got exposure with the self-abuse, self-harmed content online. Moreover, x –rated, violent, discriminatory, suicidal, and extremist content also perpetrated to the kids online, In addition to that, on social media platforms. All these things that we are discussing right now about content kids are having as the recipient.
Online World & Risk of Contact for Kids
Young kids these days are used to participating in communication in the online world. So, they get inappropriate contact for sexual motives, kids get involved in unhealthy activities like partying, and they plan all these kinds of activities on the web with friends and strangers. Young teens become the victim of sexual solicitation, sexual harassment, and in sexual grooming having contacts with the people online. Thus, inappropriate and unknown contacts of kids online can put them into trouble. Therefore, digital world is nasty then the real–world because it is providing so much privacy and freedom to the kids no time ever before.
UNICEF’s report has revealed that more than 90% of the kid’s sexual abuse URLs spread in 5 countries: The United States, Canada, France, and Russia and in countries like Netherlands.
Digital World & Risk of the Conduct for Kids
The conduct of the teens in the cyber world matters a lot. The hostile and violent peers’ activity can put the kid’s safety at stake. Nowadays, kids are interacting with cyberbullies, stalkers, and sex-offenders. Young kids are also getting involved in the creation of hateful material about their peers, such as racism and post things on the colors, race, and gender, and spread each other’s sexual images on the web, particularly on social media websites. You may have seen the live streaming of child sexual abuse on social channels and sexual exploitation of children.
Digital World Enabling Kids to Share Self-Produced Sexual Material
Young kids these days are producing sexual material on their own, and it is known as consensual sexting activity. However, non-consensual sexual activity occurs when teens show they sexually possess to strangers online, and they used to record that kind of activity. The sexual grooming of teens is one of the root-cause in the production of non-consensual sexual material.
Once a video uploads on the web, it gets viral. According to the (IWF) Internet Watch Foundation report, more than 85% of the sex videos are produced by the young teens and kids themselves via webcams or during the process of sexual grooming and then shared on the websites. Cellphone technology is responsible for all these sexual activities among the children, and most of them involved in such kind of inappropriate activities are under 15.
Kids Vulnerable to the Digital World
Those kids who go online via cellphones and use social media and web browsers are used to facing harms online. Not every child is facing the same level of vulnerabilities. Young kids who are vulnerable offline are facing issues online, according to the new search on kids in the digital world. It means that it depends upon the children in the online world what sort of content they visit, to whom they contact online, and how is the conduct of the children online.
Teach Your Kids How to be on the Digital World: Parenting Advice
Parents have to schedule every activity of the kids on the web. You have to know what sort of websites they are visiting and about the bookmarked webpages. You need to know what social media apps they have downloaded on their cellphones and how much time they used to of spending on each social media app. The internet activities need to be supervised and monitored from time–to time and set some house rules.
Some Parental Tips for the Well-Being of Children in the Digital World
- You can teach your kids to protect your privacy online.
- Don’t let your child use the name, address, contact number, school, and pictures on social profiles without your consent.
- Teach your kids don’t tap on the unknown emails.
- Tell your kids don’t respond to random messages and images received on social media.
- You can guide your children don’t interact with strangers online.
- Give your children password-protected phone devices.
You can use TheOneSpy cellphone parental control software. You can filter inappropriate websites and record live cellphone screen activities. Keep digging into their cellphone hidden whereabouts to make sure they are safe on the web to the fullest.
The Digital World and the Real World are undoubtedly the two sides of the same coin, but the online world provides more freedom, more privacy, and urges kids to do something risky without supervision. Therefore, we can say that the online world is nasty then the real world. Parents have to set parental control on kid’s online activities to protect their privacy and to keep an eye on what they are doing on their cellphones connected to the internet.