Browsing the internet can be a dangerous activity for younger children. Even though parents can not stop Internet access for younger children, it is essential that they should take precautionary measures and give importance to child internet safety. Even if a child is only using kid-friendly websites, it is always safer to monitor your child’s activity. Young children are not very aware of the threats that they can face online. This is why parents must find ways to protect children from the various threats that they might encounter online.
Online Threats Against Children
There are many issues that younger users can face while browsing the Internet. Be it internet trolls, inappropriate content, or online predators, young children need to be protected from such dangers. The Internet is quite essential for people of all generations and is required in almost all aspects of today’s life.
A study shows that children on social media feel like the biggest threat to them online is bullying and scary videos. However, parents are more scared about threats like grooming and exposure to explicit content. Even though cyberbullying is a major threat to users online, it is very damaging for young users. There are multiple other threats, like stalking and online harassment, that could potentially harm young children psychologically. With so many threats looming on young children who have access to the Internet, it becomes very important to find ways to protect them. Read more about What is cyberbullying? How to control it in schools?
However, providing a safe environment for children so that they do not face any unfortunate incidents online is equally important. That is why it is suggested that parents must set up parental controls and block websites from their devices. Additionally, it is important for parents to monitor their child’s online activity so that they can avoid any situations that can harm their child.
Why Monitor Internet Activity For Young Children
A study revealed that children from the ages of four to thirteen feel that the most dangerous thing for them online are scary videos, rude messages, and age-inappropriate content. However, we know that these threats are quite minimal in comparison to other issues like grooming, online stalking, and cyberbullying. That is why parents must be aware of their child’s online activity. Here are some reasons why you must monitor your child’s online activity.
There are many malicious people online that lure children into doing things that can be harmful to them. If you are not watching who your child interacts with, there are chances that they could be prey to an online predator. Predators find it easy to target children online so that they can groom their impressionable minds.
It is also notable that even if your child only interacts with friends, they could be a bad influence on them. You must keep an eye on your child’s interaction with their friends so that you can ask them to minimize contact with people who can influence them into doing bad things. Young children are more prone to follow activities under peer pressure, so it is beneficial to keep a check on your child’s friend circle, so they do not end up doing morally corrupt things.
There are many websites online that have inappropriate content on them. Even though these websites are age-restricted, they do not have strict age verification measures. If you do not monitor your child’s activity, they could access these websites without your knowledge. Content meant for adult audiences should not be easily accessible to young children, but there is a lack of proper measures to stop this.
Another reason you should be aware of your child’s online activity is to limit their screen time. If your child is spending too much time on the Internet, you must set rules to ensure that they decrease their screen time. Children need to spend time outside and doing other activities rather than spending all their time on the Internet.
It is better to take precautionary measures so that your child can safely browse the Internet rather than putting them in harm’s way. If you do not have proper knowledge of your child’s Internet activity, you will be less aware of what issues they can face. This will also make them more prone to interacting with malicious people without your knowledge.
Read about What are the causes of CyberCrime and Preventive Measures
How To Maintain Privacy For Children
When it comes to monitoring young children’s online activity, the concern for their privacy is a major issue. It is a given that monitoring Internet activity is important. However, it is also essential that parents must provide enough privacy to their children. If a child is feeling that their online privacy is not being ensured, they can start to hide things from their parents. This can also lead to a sense of distrust in young children.
To ensure that you do not breach your child’s privacy while monitoring their online activity, make sure to communicate with them. It is always important to let your child know that you are only looking out for their safety and are not trying to control their interactions with people. Additionally, educating children about the various issues they can face online will also give them a better understanding of them.
Other than that, you can also set up rules for using the Internet in your home. Communicate these rules with your children so that they can understand what they should or should not do while being online. Additionally, parents can also teach some tricks to their children so that they are safer while browsing the Internet. This will ensure that you can monitor your child’s Internet activity without breaching their privacy. If you have open communication with your child, they will be upfront about any issue that they are facing online. This will also ensure that your child does not start hiding things from you, as it can make them feel isolated.
There are multiple safety reasons why parents must monitor the online activity of their children. Since younger users are not very aware of the threats that they can face online, monitoring their online activity can help parents avoid any unfortunate incidents. It is also better for parents to educate young children about these threats so that they can report any suspicious activities to their parents. This will not only ensure the safety of young children but they will be more equipped to access the Internet safely.