Are you all set to warmly welcome the New Year? Being a parent, you might have set several resolutions to spend the coming year as a successful parent without repeating the mistakes you have made earlier. While there are many other important things to consider, making online safety of children a priority is undoubtedly the best New Year resolution for parents. If you have provided your kids with digital devices such as smartphones, game console and tablet, you are required to protect them from the potential dangers of these technologies. It is the main concern for parents to ensure their kids’ protection in the real and digital world. If they neglect kids’ online protection, their children are likely to experience cyberbullying, online child predation, scams, self-harm activities and several other online wrongdoings. So, you must put your kids’ safety first both in the real world and the cyber world.
Why Kids’ Online Safety is Crucial
The widespread adoption of digital technologies has changed parenting to a great extent. Earlier, parents were responsible to protect their children from the potential threats in the real world such as child abuse, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, harassment and several other threats outside the home. Today, there are more threats inside a home as compared to the outside world thanks to smartphones, internet and digital devices.
The scoundrels can reach your kid anytime through their mobile phones and internet-connected gadgets and can victimize your kid. The latest communication tools have empowered rogues to put a severe impact on the physical, mental and psychological health of children. They take the support of social media platforms, chat-rooms, Instant messenger groups and many other online platforms to access and trap adolescents.
Parents need to be vigilant regarding to the online lives of their children. They must know what their kids are doing online and whether they are using the communication tools responsibly or not. If they neglect the potential online dangers, they may fail to provide support to their children against online criminals.
The Most Common Online Dangers for Kids
While the list of potential online dangers is quite lengthy, we have discussed here the most common and horrible threats of the internet and online world. From cyber bullying to online child molestation, here are a few online threats that parents must know about.
- Cyber bullying
The use of electronic means such as mobile phones and computer devices to frequently harass, tease, humiliate, offend or threaten someone is termed as online or cyber bullying. The cyber bullying is the most common online threat having a robust influence on the mental and psychological health of the victim. The online harassment is not different than the traditional face to face bullying but its consequences are more severe in some cases.
Social media is the prime facilitator of bullying as it allows harassers to access and trap the target keeping their identities hidden. All the negative comments and messages your kids receive through social networking platforms are examples of online bullying. Unstopped and consistent harassment may cause the victim to commit suicide or get involved in self-harm activities.
- Online Child Predator
Have you heard about pedophiles? They are adults who get sexually attracted to kids between the age of 8 and 12. The online pedophiles trap younger boys and girls to exploit them for sexual purposes. Similarly, there are child predators that trap teenagers for producing sexually exploit photos and videos. They take the support of social media and online platforms to communicate with the target and con them with flattery or other tricks. The victims of child molestation are puppets of these child predators that are bound to act as per the will of their masters.
How to Ensure Kids’ Online Safety
There are a few simple practices that can help you protect your kid from the potential threats of the digital world. Follow them and ensure your kid’s protection online and offline.
Keep Your Eyes and Ear Open
You can never protect your kid from a threat you are not aware of. If you do not know that your kid is being bullied by someone how you can provide support to your little one that she needs most. That is why you must stay updated about what is happening in your kid’s life both online and offline. If you have noticed a sudden change in mobile phone usage of your kid, try to know what the reason is behind.
Also, if your little one seems depressed after reading a text or watching something at his phone, there are chances that she is being victimized by a harasser or child predator. So, the most important thing is to stay watchful. If you cannot be always there to supervise your kids, take the support of TheOneSpy Kids monitoring software to remotely supervise the digital lives of your children.
Make the Internet Less Detrimental and More Beneficial for Kids
The internet is a dual faceted technology that offers perks and perils at the same time. When used appropriately, it can educate your kids and get them securely introduced with the world. However, the unbridled use of this powerful technology can expose your kids to age-inappropriate and objectionable stuff. They are likely to encounter sexually explicit material and unfiltered information with or without intention. Use parental controls to make the internet kid-friendly. Also, block their access to adult-oriented and unproductive websites.
Make your Kids Responsible Digital Citizens This New Year
Let your kids know the best way to use smartphones, internet and digital devices without experiencing any danger. Educate them about cyber bullying, child molestation and other potential threats associated with social media and online platforms. Have frequent discussions with your kids letting them share their negative and positive online experiences. This will help them to safeguard themselves from the threats when you are not available to protect them. Moreover, it is important to demonstrate responsible digital behavior to help your children and other family members to adopt healthy practices regarding the use of smartphones, tablets, personal computers and gadgets.