The internet has hundreds of advantages to communities. That notwithstanding, danger lurks in its streets. Children are more exposed to dangers on the internet from predators to content that can damage their lives forever. Without guidance, a child can expose their family to internet threats such as identity theft.
A child may not suffer any consequences (not directly anyway) might what happens if they accidentally download malware? Cybercriminals gain access to your bank accounts or any ot7her sensitive information and that is where the trouble starts to brew.
Protecting your children means educating them to understand there is danger, the kind of danger they might be in, and how to avoid the dangerous streets. You can still use cybersecurity software but the easiest way is to educate your children openly. Some of the dangers that kids are exposed to include:
Pew Research found out that up to 90 percent of teens believe that cyberbullying is a problem. Another research found out that at least 60 percent of children with access to the internet have witnessed some form of bullying. Most children fail to address the bullying until it gets out of hand and starts haunting them. Almost half of all young people have been victims of cyberbullying. Social media is especially full of bullies and so are online gaming platforms.
Online games slowly turn from a thrilling experience to a humiliating one where players are exposed to incessant attacks. If left unaddressed, the bullying spreads from the gaming platform to social media and other platforms very fast. You need to monitor what your kid does online and talk with them on any issues they may have faced online.
Sexual predators and many others are online. They will be stalking your child for a long time and when the time is right, they will make a move. The predators will abuse your child’s innocence, trust, and lack of supervision.
The game platforms where cyberbullying occurs (mostly in virtual games) the child can be lured into dangerous personal encounters. Predators have a way of playing with the psychology of the child to earn their trust and make everything so much fun. They can engage them in games they know children love and before long, the child is giving directions to your home on a day you are late from work.
Some predators may even steal your identity (just the basic information) and communicate with your child as a way of preying on them. You can use an identity theft protection service such as Lifelock to ensure these predators never get access to any information about you. Be sure to check the customer testimonials to ensure you are getting the right service to protect you and your child.
You can also follow the guidelines offered by the FBI to keep your child safe from cyber predators.
Giving Out Personally Identifiable Information to Strangers
Your child may not know what to post online. They might end up posting your family’s vacation plans, awkward personal moments, home address, and much more. Most of what your child posts are in public view, and you can see it and caution them against posting such information. Ensure that they understand the danger that comes when such information gets into the hands of cybercriminals.
One way to avoid getting damaged is to avoid suspicious emails and messages that come to your phone. Cybercriminals use emails to try and trick people into downloading malicious attachments and opening links that they shouldn’t. You might have seen those emails or popups that promise you a reward or prompts you to take action very fast.
Phishing is now common through messaging apps such as WhatsApp, where kids might share links they think are safe but aren’t. When done through messaging apps, it is called smishing. The criminals might gather information about you, your child, and their friends for a more personalized phishing attack – this is called spear phishing.
Posts that Haunt Children Later in Life
Once something is uploaded online, there is no way to delete it. Anything that finds its way online stays online. Teenagers may not understand how a party picture might affect their university entry interview or how a Snapchat message might affect their chances of landing their dream jobs.
Your kid must understand they will not have the same style and opinions as they have always had. Explain to them that the internet keeps files forever, and they should not allow their 15-year-old self to ruin their 3-year-old self. The way they present themselves in real life and online might change later in life, and that is what they need to focus on.
The internet is a great place for your child to learn, play a few games, meet with friends, and do much more. As a parent, you need to ensure that they are always safe while they do so. The first step is to communicate with them about the dangers and the ways to avoid the dangers. The second step is taking the necessary measures, such as using an identity theft service.