The lives of children growing up in the modern world seem to revolve around social media. The ability to stay connected with friends and family has proved quite appealing to people across every generation, but many children in our modern times have an especial reliance on things like Facebook or Twitter. Unfortunately, the increased reliance on social media also brings with it a variety of safety issues. A detective recently spoke with the ABC News affiliate in Chicago about how parents can make sure their children aren’t endangering themselves online.
One of the first things that a parent can do to make sure that their kid is safe when he or she goes online is to simply check up on their child’s online activity. This begins with looking into how the child is interacting with social media. There are tools out there that let parents view their children’s online activity. Kids should be warned not to share too much information on an online platform. The tendency nowadays is for kids to post every detail of their lives to their social media accounts, but this can pose a danger, especially when children begin to accept friend requests from individuals they don’t know. Monitor your kids and don’t let them post something that could make them a target.
The threat of online predators should not be underestimated by parents. These persons will assume the identity of a child in a bid to get your child to willingly give up contact information and photos. Assuming this false identity is far too easy when a child is posting all sorts of information about themselves online. A predator can learn about the child and then use this information to develop a rapport, and the child might not even realize that something bad is going on. Again, parents should curtail the threat by talking to their children and carefully supervising online activity. Parents should especially caution their children not to enter into a video conversation or interact with anyone via some type of app.
Cyberbullying is also a threat that parents need to be aware of in this day and age. It’s far too easy to tease somebody nowadays, and it doesn’t take long for seemingly innocuous posts to devolve into personal attacks that can do real harm to a child’s psyche. Parents should keep an eye out for a difference in behavior. If they notice that something seems to be amiss with their child, then they ought to look into recent posts and other online activity. Simply discussing the issue with a child sometimes isn’t enough, as they might not want to bother you with the dilemma.
As you can see, protecting children from harmful online activity largely depends on knowing what your child is doing. By supervising your kids in an online environment just as you would in an actual real-world locale, you can ensure safety.