It’s a scary thought to imagine what your child might be doing on the internet. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Read along to know how you can ensure your child’s safety on the internet while also maintaining your peace of mind.
Kids Joining Social Media
We live in a highly digital world. Today the internet and social media are a part of our lives 24/7. Today our personal information is just not a part of our lives but it is simply all out there!
What’s more, this does not just apply to adults now.
These social media sites are a part of almost every kid’s life.
The age at which one would join Facebook or open an Instagram account is decreasing rapidly. Before, the norm was to join social media platforms around the age of 18. But nowadays, even younger children (as young as 9 years old) have social media accounts.
New social networking sites have been launched that cater specifically to the younger population.
Like TikTok for example.
There are users belonging to all age groups on TikTok, but statistics show that 54% of TikTok users are between the ages of 9 – 15.
Today common sense media has taken a backstage and social media apps are the raging force.
Now, as a parent, this information can be alarming considering the fact that these social networking sites often lack censorship and regulations. Everyone is free to post whatever they want, and nothing is stopping anyone from around the world to watch it.
The Internet Is A Scary Place
You can’t deny that the Internet has definitely made our life easier. We’re way more connected with our peers today than ever.
We have access to everything at our fingertips. Whether it’s materialistic commodities or knowledge and information on anything under the sun, the internet gives you easy access to everything.
But, with these pros also comes a long list of cons. This space gets scarier as the child age decreases. In fact, it can be an extremely scary place, especially for younger age kids.
At that young age, kids are not able to filter what should be posted and what not. Today you can even find personal information as phone numbers and details of every single move and action online- where you are going, what you doing, everything!
Another one of the largest defects is that porn has come to exist everywhere on the internet.
Any kids and teens who might just be googling cartoons or anime would likely come across porn unintentionally.
At such a tender age with high curiosity, the kids often click on every advertisement that pops up on their screens.
This is alarming as most of the ad pop-ups today are adult content. But, sadly due to the lack of regulation in the industry, literally anyone can access this inappropriate content.
The internet is filled with predators just waiting for a chance to get their hands on young impressionable children. Kids also have the habit of imitating everything they see.
With all the vile and violent content on the internet, this can be a huge problem.
Today, you can’t stop your kid from using the internet. It is a necessity in our life now, not a luxury. Kid’s now needed it for school, extracurricular activities, and even socializing.
Banning kids from using the internet is just not an option anymore.
This is why as a parent, you have to figure out other ways to ensure the safety of your children.
5 precautions to ensure child safety
Reprimanding your child and banning them from the internet won’t do you or them any good. Instead here are precautions you can take beforehand so you ensure your child is safe on the internet.
Step one is to do your research.
As we get too busy with our adult life, we often forget to check in on what is up with the kids today. 41% of teens in the US claimed that their parents have no idea what they’re doing on the internet.
When your kids ask you permission to join a social media site, don’t immediately say no. Instead, take some time and use the site yourself to figure out whether it really is safe for your child to be on here.
Do a thorough check of these websites and get to know them to the best of your abilities. Look through the type of content that is posted regularly, the age restrictions, everything!
This way you can be confident that if your child uses this site, they’re safe.
Have an open conversation
Even if you’re trying to protect your child and save them from certain horrors, your child might not understand it and become cross with you.
This is due to a lack of healthy communication.
Keep all channels of communication open with your child. Make them feel comfortable enough that they open up to you about everything.
Have healthy conversations about friends, school, relationships, and all their other interests.
Kids only turn to the internet for answers when they’re not comfortable enough to speak about it with you. Or id they’re scared of your reaction.
So, make sure you create a safe space for them to come to you instead of them finding solace on the internet.
Having set rules and limits ensures that you and your child are on the same page.
For this to work out, it is important for the two of you to be on the same page.
So, the best thing would be for the two of you to sit down and discuss these rules together. Making your child feel like they’re equal in this situation will ensure a higher chance of them sticking by these rules.
Have an open discussion about which sites are safe for them to use and which aren’t.
It’s not necessary for a 13-year-old to be on every social media site out there. Ask your child which site they’d like to have an account on, then based on your research and knowledge decide whether it’s safe for them to be on there or not.
Next, discuss and set time limits on the accessibility. Make them understand why and how it is beneficial to manage time devoting it to all activities that are part of your life and not just concentrate on one!
A good rule to have is to make sure you too have an account on these social media sites and are ‘Friends’ with your child.
This does not mean you obsessively check everything they do on the internet. You need to give them their space to grow.
Inform your kid about overshare
Anything once posted on the internet can be saved, edited, and shared. Once it’s on it’s going to be on there forever in some shape or form. So, it is essential to keep a tab on what your child posts.
Make sure your little one is well-informed about this.
This includes their photos, messages, and any other information.
Remind your child that once something goes on the Internet, it can stay there forever. Tell them if it’s something you wouldn’t want to be plastered on the hallways at school, don’t post it online or send it in a text.
This includes anything involving drugs, alcohol, nudity, and sexting.
Also, inform them about how their behavior on the internet can affect their future down the line.
For example their college applications, job interviews, etc, all will involve an internet sweep.
So make sure they’re aware of the importance having a good social media presence holds in today’s day and age.
Install an adult content blocker
Like we discussed earlier, the internet can be a scary place. There is pornographic content scattered all across the internet. There are thousands of porn websites easily available and the number is only growing.
Plus there are spam porn advertisements placed on almost every website.
Your child is bound to come across them at one point or another.
You can avoid this problem by merely installing a porn blocker on their gadgets. This way they can safely access all other sites on the internet without the risk of running into porn. There are tons of porn blockers available on iOS and Android, pick anyone you’d like.
Just remember, communication is key.
You’ll do a much better job of ensuring your kid’s safety on the internet if you have a open and healthy relationship with them. It’s 2020, the internet is a huge part of our life, we can’t live without it.
This way you can at least ensure your kids are safe on it.
To ensure your kid is safe on the internet, you need to be well informed first. That’s the only you can ensure your kids don’t fall prey to the predators online. Today, you can’t stop your kid from using the internet. It is a necessity in our life now, not a luxury. Kid’s now need it for school, extracurricular activities, and even socialising. Banning kids from using the internet is just not an option anymore. So instead educated yourself, install an adult content blocker on their gadgets and make sure they feel comfortable talking to you about everything.