Parents typically want to have a certain level of control over the online activities of their children. This is because while the internet is a great source of positive information, it contains malicious actors that use it for bad deeds.
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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and the use of the internet is encouraged. This translates to your child spending a lot more time on the web. Kids turn to the internet for various reasons such as educating themselves, online gaming, funny videos, etc.
However, not every activity on the internet is suitable for children. There are several traps set online that these youngsters can fall victim to. Below, some of these risks are discussed.
The Most Prominent Internet Threats against Children
Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that targets children online. It can be perpetrated through instant messaging platforms, text messages, and social media. Internet bullies are usually around the same age bracket as their victims.
Cyberbullies usually create hurtful posts against their targets online, send offensive messages, or share humiliating photos targeting the victim.
Cyber predators are older people who establish relationships with children online. They usually come up with fake, child-like identities and sometimes try to meet with these kids offline.
Online predators target websites and apps that are highly used by children. They can also invade online gaming platforms used by children. In extreme cases, the child could be deceived into clicking a link that exposes his or her IP address. This reveals the personal info and location of the young one.
Methods to use while Protecting your Child
- Teach Responses to Cyberbullying
First, you have to ask your child to report any form of cyberbullying online. Kids usually fail to tell their parents because of shame or fear of limited device time.
Second, teach your child how to deal with cyberbullies. You can tell your child to ignore bullies on the internet. Sometimes, bullies just want to pick on someone and lose interest if they don’t get a response. You can tell your child to also block the bully on all messaging platforms.
Your kid should also know when to report to you if the bully is getting persistent. This way you can talk with the bully’s parents or teachers.
- Use a VPN on your devices
Virtual Private Networks encrypt the flow of information from and into a network or device. In simple terms, the tool ensures the privacy of your data and identity online by masking your IP address. This protects online predators from knowing your physical location and tracking down your child.
You can download a VPN on your child’s device or set up one on your home router to protect every device connected to the network.
- Talk with your Kids about Cyber-Predators
You have to inform your child that not every person on the internet is who they claim to be. Some mentally deranged older people can mask themselves like younger children.
Tell your child never to discuss personal issues with strangers online. Also, explain to him or her the major ways predators try to get their victims like gaming chat rooms. Children should never share images of themselves with people online, even if they feel comfortable chatting with them.
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