It is absolutely your business what you child gets up to on the internet, whether they like it or not. The internet is both a blessing and a curse and for you as parent, should be a serious cause for concern. These preventative measures will ensure that your child is protected from internet bullies and predators and will ensure a safer web experience for your child.
Related article: Connecting Cell Phones and Children
Gone are the days when children would go to libraries to seek information, now it’s all simply done by a “click, click”. While this advancement in technology may be convenient and helpful it comes with some very alarming drawbacks.
The modern child no longer just has bullies at school they may have to deal with but anonymous cyberbullies over social networks and instant messaging platforms too. Cyber bulling is done over any electronic device be it cell phones or personal computers and entails threats, embarrassment or harassment. Bulling has been getting lots of media attention recently and that is because the problem spiralled out of control. An increase in cyberbullying related suicides should have you wanting to know how and what your children are saying to their peers and what has been said to them.
Boys and girls can fall victim to these master manipulators and ultimately agree to participate in sexual favours. Online paedophilia is a serious threat and many children won’t even be aware of that fact that they are been abused. They build-up such a trusting relationship with their “friends” that they see no wrong until it’s too late.
So what can you do to monitor and prevent your child falling victim to bullies and predators? A few tips to consider:
1. Your child should be able to trust you to be the first person to tell should anything happen online or at school. Building a transparent relationship with you child will make it easier for them to communicate with you on these issues.
2. Have the main computer in a central place in the home or if your child has a PC in their room make sure you have easy access to it.
3. Know your child’s passwords and logins to all platforms.
4. Be aware of their physical behaviour when on their phones and the computer.
5. Set clear rules about appropriate use of computers all mobile devices
6. Make it known what sites they can visit and what they are allowed to do when they’re online.
7. Ask if you may “follow” or “friend” them on a social media platform they may be on.
8. Don’t be upset when they do fall victim to bulling or online sexual predators try to be as supportive as possible and take necessary actions as soon as possible.
There are plenty of ways you can help you child navigate the internet and it is extremely important they understand that as a responsible parent, you do all of this to protect them. So don’t be afraid to be curious they will thank you in the long run.