Children are completely unaware of the dangers of the Internet. As citizens and parents, it is our responsibility to educate our kids and make them aware of the dangers of Internet stalking, lurking, predators and pornography, etc. and teach them the rules surrounding this social, technical and communication phenomenon.
In order to prepare them, they need to know what could happen. Use examples and stories to illustrate. Inform them and revisit with frequency to instil a sense of empowerment and safety by following some simple rules. Teach them that these rules are in place to protect them. Scare tactics are one thing, but there are other methods to prepare kids for what could happen.
A YouTube Broadcaster, Coby Persin illustrates the dangers of Internet Predators through video with parental consent to prove a point.
INTERNET SAFETY AT SCHOOL
The school board requires forms to be signed at the start of the year which are technology agreements. There are rules and boundaries within the schools and classes. Rules are explained at the start of the year. With the advancement of social media and platforms that allow children to communicate with the outside, the rules and attention received is becoming more stringent each year.
Kids will eventually learn to manage themselves based on what they’ve been taught. Much of their behaviour depends on the type of child and how they have been parented and socialized. Unfortunately, some parents are unfamiliar with or afraid of technology, so it can become a daunting task for parents as the children become curious and more adept at using computers and electronic devices.
Types of Social Media that are popular with kids:
What parents and kids should know:
Cyberbullying can become amplified thru digital channels. Being shielded by space and technology can make bullies even more courageous and mean.
Social Media and public images and posts will impacts their reputation for present and future. It can never be un-done! The more information (data) you expose, the more danger you are in.
There are some websites that parents should be familiar with and aware of that are inappropriate even though they are popular with some kids. It’s a parent’s job to investigate and make judgement calls so they keep kids safe.
Privacy and safety settings are very valuable and can help you control what your kids are exposed to. You can find settings on your computer regardless of platform and find out how to use them by reading or asking for help.
Sample Website Privacy Controls: YouTube privacy settings i.e. Restricted Mode — Restricted Mode hides videos that may contain inappropriate content that is flagged by users and other signals. No filter is 100% accurate, but it should help you avoid most inappropriate content. Your Restricted Mode setting will apply to this browser only.
Advanced Level Knowledge
It’s important to realize that any device that connects to a network or the Internet can be tracked or compromised.
This includes: Any handheld electronic device, tablets, iPods, iPads, Cameras, gaming devices. Any connectivity allows access!
Geo-Location and Location tracking can sometimes be enabled by default so you need to be aware of what features allow for connectivity or location tracking (i.e.Find my iPhone)
Picture metadata can also be used to track location.
Google Location Services can also can be enabled in your web browser to utilize Google Maps, etc. It can be disabled in preferences or settings.
The most important thing to remember is that safety starts at home. By using an honest parenting approach, allowing for open communication with your children and teaching respect and kindness is an excellent foundation to begin with.
7 Internet Dangers
Pornography Warping the minds of youth
- More than 1 in 8 web searches are for erotic content.
- 79% of youth’s unwanted exposures to Internet porn take place in the home.
- Before the age of 18, 83% of boys and 57% of girls have seen group sex online.
Sexting The unsafe ‘safe sex’
- Nearly 1 in 5 teens who receive a sext share it with someone else.
- 20% of teens have sent or posted a nude or semi-nude image of themselves.
- Of those who have sent sexts, 76% of girls and 57% of guys sent it to get someone else to like them.
Cyberbullying The mean way kids treat each other online
- 20% of teens say their peers are “mostly unkind” to each other on social networks.
- 24% of teens and young adults say someone has written something about them online that wasn’t true.
- 9% say someone has threatened to use electronic communication (Facebook, e-mail, text messages, etc.) to tell others private things about them as a form of blackmail.
Predators Those seeking to ensnare our children
- 76% of predators are 26 or older.
- 47% of offenders are 20 years old than their victims.
- 83% of victims who met their offender face-to-face willingly went somewhere with them.
Gaming More risks of exposure to sexual media and interactions
- 82% of children say they are current gamers.
- One-third of teen gamers (ages 15–17) report playing games with people they first met online.
- 13% of underage teenagers were able to buy Mature-rated games between November 2010 and January 2011.
Social Networks Redefining privacy
- Despite the 13-year-old minimum, over half of parents of 12-year-olds say their child has a Facebook account, and three-quarters of these helped their child create the account.
- 40% of teens have seen pictures on social networks of their peers getting drunk, passed out, or using drugs, and half of these first saw these pictures when they were 13 or younger.
- More than 11% of teens are “hyper-networkers,” spending more than three hours per school day on social network sites.
YouTube ‘Broadcast yourself’ culture means anything goes
- 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (about 8 years of content uploaded every day).
- Over 3 billion videos are viewed every day on YouTube.
- Users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full length films every week.
RESOURCE LINKS & SOURCES