According to Pew Research, the Internet has created so many new challenges for parents that approximately 30% of them are extremely concerned about the digital habits their kids might have.
6Don’t be scared of the digital dangers awaiting for your kids online
Modern kids spend a few hours a day online which basically means that being a great parent nowadays involves knowing a lot about the process. You are the one and only defense line that separates your loved ones from the online dangers.
Be on the frontline of where your kids are. You probably won’t allow them to swim independently before you teach them at most. Or allowing them to chat online with some strangers or let them go abroad with a family you barely know before you run a background check on the website like Nuwber.
Become their online friend, play their favorite online games together or chat with them on the social media page they use. Ask them to share the logins and passwords from their accounts but make them safe about their privacy too. You should not spy your kids but rather check how things are going from time to time.
5Kids are more internet-savvy than we are. What do we do to protect them?
First of all, try to understand how the way your kids post on social media or any other online places and how this information will affect your kids lives as they are getting older.
Modern-day kids are pretty internet-savvy but the only problem is that they use that knowledge to get rid of unwanted attention from their parents, teachers or family in general, but not from the complete Internet stalkers.
There are plenty of studies conducted on the topic and thus it becomes vitally important for parents to be that defense line so everyone will be safe and secured. Moreover, the concept of something that can be on the Internet “forever” is lost. People just don’t think what might be found about them in years or decades during admission to college or job application. Digital footprints are not easy to get rid of, unlike the real footprints that are erased by the tides or wind. All of those might lead to dramatic results.
Such phenomena as sexting and revenge porn is real and guilty in thousands of children suicides a year all over the world. We can find plenty of parents trying to remove their son’s or daughter’s nude pictures from the Internet with no luck. No one of them would ever know their kid would share such pictures online.
The Journal of Pediatrics states that between 15% and 30% of young Americans sent or received sexting messages lately. The cyberbullying and cyber shaming trends are not going to stop either. We would need to start discussing such behavior online as we do that in private talks with our kids.
3Tell your kids about the danger of talking to strangers online
It’s surprising how teens, kids or adults who know how to behave with strangers in the real world just lose the basic sense of safety when talking with online stalkers. Imagine, when teens are asked about the danger of speaking with someone they don’t know in reality, most likely the only reaction you will get would be rolled eyes only. Everyone knows that! However, it seems rude not to accept friends request on Facebook from the complete stranger. We all need to focus on emphasizing the fact that there’s no difference whether you talk to a stranger on the street or in online chat.
Make sure your kids are aware that public chat rooms are basically accessible by everyone, handy to use and even in case this might look like a harmless game, those sites are goldmines for all kind of freaks, pedophiles and even burglars who might rob your house if you share your wealth and location.
Warn your kid that even though there are some video chat services available for kids, most of them are used for working or business purposes, not for entertainment. The good news is that most of those websites have security features and allow you to take your kid’s account as his or her legal representative.
2Additional precaution measures to be taken
Some of the parents might not even know that there are some “secret apps” available on the market, that help you track the actions your kid performs on his or her smartphone. Now you are warned. Those “secret apps” might look like your average cell phone application and if you look at the home screen of the device you may get an impression there’s some fancy applications installed like games, photo editors of all kinds, social media apps and so on. Don’t be tricked so easily. That application might have a hidden secret somewhere behind them. Moreover, there exists a true market for such applications or decoy apps if you wish. Those apps may secretly track transactions or activity your kids does every day.
Suspect that your kid might be involved in sharing nude photos online? Parents are way behind the technology nowadays: such applications like Private Photo Vault (hiding photos behind a PIN code) or secret folder apps. If you type the word “secret” into a search bar of any application service you will get hundreds if not thousands of applications available.
1This is scary! How do we overcome modern-era threats?
The answer is quite obvious, teach by your example. Show them how to act correctly, don’t just explain them, they will probably not understand the level of danger to which they are exposed. In case you want to start checking your kid’s online presence, it will be wise to compare it with your internet usage first. There are plenty of options available on the market to do that on your smartphone in order to get yourself healthier digital habits.
To sum it up..adults. Let’s not use our gadgets or other electronic devices as our go-to in case we need to calm down or distract our kids from something. The limit is the king.