Parents are ought to be concerned about their kid’s safety, given the current circumstances where kids are neither safe in the physical world as well as the internet world. It’s a difficult task to keep teens safe in the outside world, let alone the internet world as well as social media.
Gone are the days when parents used to fret over sending their kid out with their friends thinking they’d come across a random stranger who’d lure your kid with sweet talks. The advent of technology, especially digital devices and social media have exposed kids to several online dangers.
Kids who start using the internet for the first time are unaware of the online risks that they may come across there. They won’t be able to fight against them if they cannot identify them in the first place. Parents can help educate their kids about those dangers so they can identify them and tackle them. Parents can also install a mobile spy app on their kid’s devices to keep a check on their activities.
Online Risks Your Kids Need to Know About
You, as a parent, can plan out several ways to keep your kids safe in the digital world. Certainly, no parent would want their kid to come across harmful internet dangers and to get in a serious situation or trouble.
It won’t be wrong to say that the internet is a safe haven for kids. Where on the one side, it can provide them with lots of entertaining and recreational activities, on the other side, it can also become a source of danger for them. Many sites found on the internet are laden with adult content, inappropriate information. Some fun websites are even found to be corrupted by hackers and cybercriminals.
Before you can take important measures to protect your kids from online dangers, it’s important to make them understand and identify those dangers. Let us take a look at the online risks that your kids need to be aware of all the time.
Pornographic content can be easily found on the internet. Even an entertaining website designed for kids can be laden with hidden pornographic ads. An accidental click on that ad takes kids to the world of pornography and adult content.
Exposure to porn content can create a long-lasting and negative impact on your kid’s ability to form a healthy and loving relationship with their partner in the future. It can also hamper your kid’s ability to growth and development. When kids are exposed to porn, they start keeping unrealistic expectations that may affect their self-esteem and also confuse their concept and understanding of normal and healthy romantic relationships.
Cyberbullying is another form of online threat that kids need to be careful about while they are using the internet and social media platforms. In today’s world, the abuse and taunts are not only confined to high school classrooms and corridors. Social media platforms have made it easier for anyone to reach out to your kids and send them hurtful and embarrassing messages.
Bullies can get in touch with kids through texting, emails, social media accounts, and instant messaging apps and hurt them by sending mean messages. Most kids silently suffer the brunt of cyberbullying and hardly report such incidents to anyone. Consequently, they fall into the abyss of depression due to the constant bullying that they face online. Cyberbullying has also led teens to have suicidal thoughts which can be quite alarming for families.
It doesn’t take teens much time to get involved in a romantic relationship with someone online. As soon as they are officially committed to someone, it does not take them long to get engaged in sexting with their partner. The process of sending and receiving messages of sexual nature to each other is known as sexting.
No matter how much pleasure teens can derive from sexting, they should not forget that they can land in huge trouble if something goes wrong in their relationship. When a photo or video is sent from your teen’s side, they can no longer have any control over it. The content can be shared and forwarded to any person on the internet. A basic tiff between two people can lead them to expose the sexual messages of each other in the public. This can severely damage a teen’s reputation.
Social media and gaming platforms are laden with online predators. They often disguise themselves as peers or teens to reach out to potential victims and connect with them. Once teens befriend them, online predators lure them with sweet talks and pretend to be their best friends and well-wishers.
As soon as they gain the teen’s confidence and develop a strong relationship with them, they start demanding inappropriate photos and videos from them. They even ask teens to meet them outside. Vulnerable and innocent kids are easily targeted by online predators and give in to their vicious demands. After getting access to the teen’s compromising content, these predators either blackmail the teen’s family or sell the content to the dark web for a good price.
In extreme cases, many online predators also try to groom teens for human trafficking or sexual exploitation. Some of them also radicalize kids for extreme religious or political groups. Therefore, kids need to be able to recognize these predators and stay away from them.
Most parents would probably think that their teens are safe from identity theft as they do not have much balance in their bank accounts or have only a few assets to their name. However, the online hackers and cybercriminals wouldn’t even miss the opportunity of taking benefit from a teen’s blank bank account.
They can open up bank accounts that can follow your teen for many years to come. This can damage your teen’s future by making it much harder to do things such as rent an apartment, buy a car, or even land a good job.
How Can Parents Help?
We cannot stress the importance of educating your kids about the above-mentioned online risks and threats. It’s also imperative to teach them how to identify and tackle these dangers. However, not every kid may be able to protect themselves from these dangers.
Vulnerable kids and kids with special needs may need constant assistance and guidance from their parents when they are using internet services. They may not be able to protect themselves from the various internet dangers out there.
In such situations, it is better to install parental controls and monitoring apps on your kid’s device to monitor all their online activities. Even if you feel your teen is tech-savvy and knows how to handle complex situations on their own, you should still monitor their online activities with the help of a monitoring app whether they like it or not.
How can I spy on a cell phone without installing software on the target phone? How can I monitor my kid’s phone without them knowing? These questions raise when you do not want your kid to know that you are monitoring their online activities. If you want to go down this road, you can consider getting an undetectable cell phone spy app. That way your kid will remain oblivious to a spy app discreetly running in the background of their device, and you can keep a check on their activities without any trouble.
Nevertheless, if snooping on their online activities without them knowing feels like a privacy invasion, then you can always inform them before installing the monitoring app on their device. Your teen may not like the idea in the beginning but once they understand that it’s being done for their good and their online safety, they would support your idea and work together to fight against online dangers.