Technology is such a prominent tool during these times, and children are learning how to use a cellphone before they are potty-trained. It is hard not to go out without seeing a young kid holding a tablet. More children have been given access to the internet, but they do not have the same perception of the dangers that are present that we adults have. They navigate through the internet with no concerns about putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations. Having a basic understanding of internet safety is necessary.
You may be thinking, “I have already talked to my kids about internet predators. What else do I need to warn them about?” While strangers on the internet are a valid threat, they are not the only ones that are present. Here are some additional dangers you should watch out for.
Phishing- Phishing is a crime where a scammer targets people to get their personal information. They do this by acting as a legitimate business or institution. The personal information that they find will be used to gain access to important accounts and can lead to identity theft and money loss.
Cyberbullying- There is a certain type of confidence that comes from hiding behind a computer screen that allows young kids to say whatever they want. Your child may be the victim or perpetrator of cyberbullying. It can be harmful; therefore, it is important to discuss this issue with your child.
Malware- Programming that is designed to harm your computer or network and gain access to personal accounts is called malware. It can come in the form of computer viruses, worms, a trojan, etc. They are pretty common because they can be downloaded disguised as other apps or games.
Inappropriate Content- Each parent has a limit on what their children can and cannot see, but some things are too inappropriate for all children. Even if your child stays on kid-friendly sites, the probability of them coming across some inappropriate content is high.
Most ways to protect your children from these and other dangers just involve having a few conversations and observing your children.
- Develop a safety plan and discuss internet safety
- Perform close supervision of your child’s internet usage
- Look over the apps they use
- Use and review privacy controls and settings
- Layout the information that is not supposed to be shared
- Let them know they can speak to you about any danger
Keeping children safe on the internet is a top priority. There are some threats that most people do not recognize, but all it takes to protect your child is education.
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