The internet has majorly changedthe way that children interact with the world. They have access to the entireworld right at their fingertips. Having access to so much knowledge, so manyways to express their creativity, and people from all around the world. Alongwith this fantastic new way to connect with the world, the internet has manynew risks.
Some of these risks include cyberbullying, Exposure to inappropriatewebsites, downloading, online predators, and one of the most important,revealing too much personal information. As broad of a subject that cyberbullying is, I will only cover a few basic things to do if someone were tobully you over instant message, via email, etc. One thing that really helps isto not respond.
If someone bullies you, they most likely are doing it for areaction. If you react to them you’re giving them exactly what they want, it’simpowering to them. Who wants to impower a bully? Save the evidence. The onlygood news about digital bullying is that their message can be captured andshown to someone who can help. You need to save every piece of evidence, incase it escalates.
Block the bully. If the messages are coming from instantmessage you can do yourself a favor by blocking them. If you are in a chatleave the “room.” Be civil. Even if it’s someone you don’t like, it’sgood to be decent and not sink to their level. Don’t gossip either, researchhas proven the if you gossip you are more likely to be bullied.
Treat peoplehow you want to be treated. Inappropriate content, againanother broad subject. It’s possible that kids may come across inappropriatefor their maturity level. You can use filters to block things and prepare themby telling them the best way to avoid it.
What is inappropriate for your childdiffers from parent to parent. This also depends on how mature the child is.Anything inappropriate is information or images that might upset your child orlead them to dangerous or unlawful behavior. A list of inappropriate thingsonline could be content containing wearing, things the encourage vandalism,crimes, racism, or even suicide, gambling sites, and unmoderated chat roomswhere no one is supervising the messages and barring unsuitable comments. Itcan be a very difficult thing to monitor what they see, seeing as how they canget on any mobile device. Sometimes they may stumble upon it on accidentthrough an app they downloaded or even a website their friend sent them.
Downloading, one of the lessdangerous things in internet safety. However, there are still some risks thatyou should be cautious with. Downloading is a great way to get information throughPDFs, Word documents, videos. Not to mention being a very convenient way tostore information. Some of the risks of downloading things is installing adwarethat enables annoying popup advertisements, spyware that lets criminals obtainprivate information that could lead to identity theft. A few ways that couldeasily solve these risks is making sure you have an up to date antivirussoftware running before downloading anything. Download .exe files with extremecaution.
These are commonly used in viruses because you run them on youcomputer/laptop. Only download from trusted websites rather that peer to peersystems. Online predators, a very dangerous,but real subject. Online predators are anybody that plans to lure, hurt or putyour child in danger using the internet as their weapon. There are many thingsyou can do to prevent predators from encountering your child You should talk toyour child about sexual predators and tell them about online dangers. Explainthe grooming process and warn them about some key tactics a cyber predator mayuse.
(the grooming process is key phrases like “Where’s the computer in yourhouse?” to see if the parents are around.) Install parental control software. “Puresight”being a very popular control software to identify and block any inappropriatecomments in chats. Don’t forget to tell them you are not spying – you arekeeping them safe! Place the computer somewhere visible or high traffic area.But remember, they have other things like a phone or tablet that predators canalso talk to them on.
Pay attention to any internet enabled devices. Personal information, in the age ofsocial media, you can share anything with millions of people with just a fewclicks of a mouse or any cellular device. So, when you let your kids online,are they sharing too much? And how much istoo much? Next time you or your child surf the web, make sure you know thesethings they shouldn’t do or share on any online platform. Full name. You shouldlet your kid choose a username or screenname that doesn’t include their firstor last name. School name.
Prevent your child by revealing their school nameeven while chatting in a supervised or moderated chat. Address. Tell your childthat they should not share their home address, city or even state to anyone whoasks online. Email address or phone number. Keep your child from giving out anyemail address or phone number to prevent cyber bullying or strange emails ortexts.
Although these online risks aredangerous for their own separate reasons, the worldwide web is a wonderfulplace for kids to get information, play games, and have fun with friends. Ifyou follow these precautions and keep a lookout, the internet is a great toolfor kids and adults!