By Madison Forster
In todays world of technology, have you ever wondered: “What is the worst that can happen to my child?”. Here is a list of the top dangers of the internet that your child may face and how you can prevent anything from happening to them.
Cyberbullying is the act of harassing, embarrassing, or blackmailing someone online. It can be done by people you know and even strangers. Every child is at a risk for cyberbullying, so it’s important to share with them what they should do if they become a victim. They should know to reach out to help from a trusted adult. Having open communication with your child will be beneficial for issues like this, they should know that they can come to you when they need help.
Online predators are out there preying on children and can use your child’s online profiles to try and communicate with them. The tactics that cyber predators use may be sending messages to complement them, find out more about them, and build a relationship in hopes to meet up. It is encouraged to educate your child about the risks of talking to a stranger online. The safest way to protect them is to have all of their social media accounts set to private so that only approved friends and family can see their profiles and communicate with them. The FBI also offers guidance in safeguarding against predators and other online risks to child safety.
Posting Private Information
Like it was said before, the safest way to protect your children is for their social media accounts to be set to private. It also is recommended to remind them that if there is anything they wouldn’t want anyone to see, they shouldn’t be posting it. Someone with bad intentions could use any of the information they can see to bring harm to your child so it’s important they realize this.
Young people are easy targets for scams because they have not yet learned to be wary. Teach your children to be careful when seeing something that may seem “too good to be true”. This could be done in the form of a promise of something free or cash prizes for not doing anything. Sometimes emails can look legitimate or innocent like one that says: “Hey, thought you might like this!”, with a link to click on. Teach them to never click the link with something like this, it could be a scam. Clicking on stuff like that could also accidentally give their device a virus.
Posts that Come Back to Haunt a Child Later in Life
The most important thing to teach about this is for children to know: Whatever they post, it will never go away. It is there forever. Even if they delete it later on, there is a way for someone to see it. This could prevent them from getting a job one day, could be used as blackmail, to harass or embarrass them.
As a parent, it can be scary to know the risks that your child may face online, but you can help ensure your children’s online safety so they are safe and know how to protect themselves. Explain the top dangers of the internet, how to avoid them, and answer any questions they may have.
- What do you think are the biggest dangers of the internet?
- Do you know how to be safe online?
- Are you okay knowing that whatever you post, anyone could see it? Is there something you could do to stop anyone seeing it?
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