Before the pandemic, managing your kid’s internet time was a lot easier since schools were largely in person and after school activities took up most of the evenings and even weekends.
Now two years into the pandemic, many of the trends adopted throughout this period are here to stay. Things like online school, video chat playdates, and the rise in popularity of online video games and social media are leading to more screen time for kids and young adults.
While the cloud keeps us connected to educators, friends, and family, it also can be a very dangerous place for young children. For some parents, especially full-time moms, this can be a lot to worry about.
Ensuring internet safety for your kids thankfully is easier today than ever before. It starts with understanding the different threats that kids might face online, education of digital citizenship, and utilizing solutions to help filter and monitor online content. And as a leading IT service provider, we believe it’s valuable to discuss topics that not only help improve the safety and security of your business, but also that which matters most - your family.
Today’s digital landscape has provided an incredible opportunity for individuals and businesses alike, however, it’s also created an entirely new landscape of threats that endanger our children.
Here are the top risks to be aware of when your kids are on any internet-connected device:
This threat is present anywhere online communication is possible. Think direct messaging, group chats, online video gaming, social media platforms, and even forums like Reddit.
There are several ways cyberbullying can manifest, from offensive name calling to spreading rumors or explicit imagery or videos. Parents should also be aware of more subtle forms of online harassment including constant nagging of where your child is or what they are doing from someone other than a trusted caretaker. Less common occurrences include physical threats or having explicit images shared of your kid without their consent. Unfortunately, 59% of teens reported being exposed to some form of cyberbullying and girls are generally more impacted than boys.
Sadly, the internet is full of adults who are using it to target children. Ultimately these people are after sexual or other types of exploitation of their victim. Even though this is a serious crime, many adults online will still entice and “groom” children gradually without that child’s awareness. As a parent, you’ll want to block any and all communication to potential online predators.
Especially on social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, inappropriate and adult content is almost everywhere. Not limited to imagery and videos, vulgar language including sexual, racist, or violent statements can deeply impact young children in negative ways.
As more kids become avid internet users, coupled with the explosion in unregulated online content, many schools across the country are teaching “digital citizenship”. This is all about teaching kids to engage in their internet-connected devices in an appropriate, safe, and respectful manner.
There are five key concepts within the curriculum aimed at K-5 students: staying safe, protecting privacy and creating secure passwords, digital etiquette, prevention/detection of cyberbullying, and information literacy.
While your children may be learning about digital citizenship at school, many can become curious and seek out these “bad things” to explore anyways. While CIPA has mandated schools to policy to limit kids’ exposure to these online threats, not all schools may have the most updated technology or policies in place to eliminate all types of exposure. Add to that, if your child has a smartphone, then odds are they will quickly run into something inappropriate if no additional precautions are taken.
This is where tools come into play, so that you can control the environment on your loved one’s personal device while they become more mature and empowered to make the right choices online.
We have compiled a list of internet safety solutions parents can employ to keep their children safe:
There shouldn’t be any guesswork in knowing your children are protected and we believe the same should go for your business. Here at Techmedics, we partner with organizations to deliver top-tier IT consulting services, comprehensive Managed IT and effective Managed Security. It’s our mission to help business owners and organization leaders strategically manage their IT initiatives through unparalleled professional IT services.
Contact us today to learn how we deliver a comprehensive portfolio of services and solutions to keep your business protected.
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