The prime complaint that every parent has today is ‘my child is addicted to gadgets.’ If we get a hundred queries every day, ninety-eight are about gadget addiction. What are the other two you ask? Not studying, and when we ask why they are not studying, the answer is because kids are on the phone.
We want our kids to not use gadgets, but that is because we want them to study, or concentrate more on other things. But, the one thing that should have really made us weary about our kids using the phone is completely missed in our worries of making them focus on studies. We are sidelining the online threats.
Kids are spending a considerable time on the internet. Just as it is filled with amazing things, there is a dark side to it too. And we need to keep our kids away from this side of it. Now, keeping our kids away from technology is neither feasible nor recommended. So what do we do?
When we want our children to shield themselves from the underbelly of the world wide web, we first need to be informed about what it actually is. ‘Know thine enemy.’ Here are the online threats that we need to know about if we want our children to be safe.
We cannot stress enough the severity of cyberbullying. In the offline world, we can at least be assured that we can put some distance between ourselves and our bullies. But, what about the virtual world where everyone is as close as one click?
The world has come closer because of the internet. But, it has also brought anti-social elements closer to their targets. These people are even more vicious virtually because they think they can hide under the guise of anonymity.
People can be very mean on the internet. They take advantage of the distance that still exists in the real world. They can shatter anybody’s confidence and shred their self-esteem to bits.
There are different forms of cyberbullying. People can pick on any aspect of your life and make you feel insecure about it. If your kid spends a lot of time on the internet you need to look out for them and make sure that people like these cannot hurt them.
Hacking is a serious threat that has brought down many organizations to their knees. What does it mean? It means that people can break the walls of security that protect us on the internet and then access all the information about us.
Once we are hacked, there is nothing that person can not know about us. Our address, our bank accounts, our everything’s out in the open for them to read. We can never be safe if we are hacked. Our kids can be blackmailed for any sensitive information that may have leaked out because of it.
It is not just a threat that our kids need to be protected from, we need to be careful too. Make sure that your kids do not put any unnecessary information on their social media accounts that could be used to manipulate them.
There is no deficit of bad people online. If our kids are putting their pictures or personal details on the internet, it is easily accessible to people with devious intentions.
It is a very serious threat. Your child can be constantly under someone’s watchful eyes who are prying in their life. It is easy to track someone down in real life because of their social media accounts. There have been several cases where online stalkers went on to the next level by harassing people in real life.
Nowadays, all social media accounts have an option of sharing location. Now, even if it is an interesting feature for interacting and keeping in touch with friends and family, imagine the kind of damage it would do if this information fell into the hands of the wrong people?
Any information is inappropriate and dangerous if it is in the hands of people who do not understand it. Our kids are young, they do not understand many things that happen around them which they will gradually become familiar with. But, if they get their hands on any content which is not at all appropriate for them, it can have a negative impact on them.
The Internet is a great platform to share information. But, it is also a platform to share illicit content too. And it is very easily accessible to anyone which is its biggest virtue and vice at the same time.
Our kids have to be protected from it until a time where they can understand the difference between what is right and wrong. Once they are mature enough, they can protect themselves.
Kids are easy to fool. They quickly trust anything that appeals to them. But, that is how they can be duped by people too. Kids do not yet understand about verifying and crosschecking. It is easy for them to fall prey to such schemes.
And these scams are more harmful to adults than they are for kids. We need to be careful too about where we give our bank details or personal details.
It is made by people who purely want to disrupt other people’s lives. Malicious software when downloaded corrupts our system and we lose important data. We are transported to these sites very easily. We never know which click can be harmful. So make sure you think before each one. It will help you avoid a lot of loss, stress, and frustration later.
Now, this software may seem less of a threat in front of all the others, but don’t make the mistake of underestimating it. It can cost you a lot. You could permanently damage the gadget in which it was installed. Moreover, all your precious data is also at risk of being corrupt forever.
Now, these are the threats that we need to focus on. We cannot keep our kids away from the virtual world, nor should we. But, what we can and should do is make them and ourselves aware about it and be careful about our activities.