Online Child Safety ~ A Real Problem!
I had an email the other day from a mom to let me know that she found my "bullying, mental, and physical impact" blog post while searching for information on online child safety and cyberbullying. Evidently, her daughter had an incident at school and she was looking for much-needed information.
Anyone bullying, sexting, manipulating any child on or off the internet needs to be shut down. I also feel this way with adults too, but this article is about our kids. She found a great guide source "The Ultimate Parent Guide for Protecting Your Child on the Internet" She wanted to share it with me as well as share it with all of you.
The above information should give you pause. The guide explains what parents can do to protect their kids:
- Did you know that the average age for a child getting a cell phone is 8 years old! Having a working smartphone in an 8-year-olds hand comes with additional responsibilities.
- Instead of putting a phone in their tiny hands, (to keep the little ones busy) invest in smart toys that resemble a phone but allows them to play games, read, and interact on.
- Hoping that things will be fine isn't practical ~ take action, check your kids activity and monitor their texts and online activity.
There are EIGHT different areas that are discussed in this guide. I am outlining the EIGHT for you ~ but you need to click right here to review the guide yourself. Bookmark it, Share it. Talk to your kids about each of the categories ~ Keeping our kids safe is key:
- Mobile Phones and Apps ~ Handing your child a smartphone has just given them unprecedented freedom ~ you have just opened Pandora's box! The average age a child gets a smartphone? 8 years old!
- Streaming Content and Smart TV's - children ages 4-6 consume 89 minutes of Television every day on average! Most of the big streaming content providers have parental controls - find them and use them.
- Gaming Consoles and Online Games ~ do you realize that 21% of all video game players in the U.S. are under 18? Those games that have multi-player components, or are entirely based online make these kids more open to abuse from other players, harassment, and sexual advances through the games chat system.
- Social Media ~ 71% of teens use more than one social media platform. According to the non-profit group "Common Sense Media" showed that 8 - 12-year-olds were online 6 hours PER DAY! 13 - 18-year-olds are online 9 hours PER DAY!
Cyberbullying . . .
- Cyberbullying ~ these victims are 1.9 times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not experience online bullying. It occurs across all platforms and comes in different forms. Spreading rumors, sending threatening messages thru social media, texting, pretending to be another child. I have only outlined a few of the cyberbullying methodologies.
- Privacy and Information Security ~ kids are too trusting. They are more susceptible to malware, viruses, phishing scams, and identity theft. Kids sharing their full names and where they live may not seem like a big deal. Hackers posing as legitimate companies like Google, send emails asking for your child's password, or pose as a friend or a relative.
- Viewing inappropriate content online ~ the internet is open and public. Kids can stumble on content that is confusing, upsetting, and distressing.
- Online Predators ~ According to the US Department of Justice, 13% of young people on the internet have been victims of unwanted sexual advances. 1 in 5 have been solicited for offline contact. 50% of online victims of sexual exploitation are between 12 and 15 years old!
Online Child Safety is our #1 concern, keeping our kids safe is the goal.