The following post is a sponsored conversation with Net Nanny.
What IS “Internet safety?” Most parents know that it is something they need to enforce, but aren’t sure HOW to do it nor where to start.
Is it simply protecting children from cyberbullying and sexting? Is it preventing kids from stumbling across inappropriate pictures and videos? Is it protecting them from cyber stalkers, predators and strangers? Internet safety is all of these things. It’s everything you want to protect your kids from in the “real world,” but now it’s not just at their friend’s house or at school. It’s everywhere, and you CAN protect them.
Last year the leading online software company Net Nanny surveyed several parents and asked them if they owned Internet filters and why or why not. The results were that parents who did not own a filter cited that they “trusted their kids” as a reason for not using Internet filtering solutions. The majority of parents that did own or use a filter did so as a reaction to an event that had happened in the past. Unfortunately, most parents don’t view the Internet as a danger or a concern until an issue is discovered.
Here are some surprising facts about kids and the Internet:
43% of kids have been bullied online and one in four has had it happen more than once. Only 10% will tell a parent or trusted adult about their being cyber-bullied.
With apps like Snapchat, Kik, Whatsapp, and many more, sexting is a growing trend. Almost 40% of teens have sent sexually suggestive messages. If you have a teen, remind him or her that once that image is sent, it can be impossible to keep it private and many people could see it.
Cyber stalkers and online predators will often “groom” children they meet and interact with online. This means that strangers will “friend,” stalk, and gain the trust of children and teens online with the intention of sexually harming them. 56% of kids admit to having had a private online conversation with a stranger. Warn your children that people on the Internet are not always who they say they are.
Did you know that the average age of exposure to porn is 8? For most children, they aren’t looking for it and they accidentally stumble across it. If parents are unaware of this event, it could escalate into a more serious problem when the child grows older.
Taking control of Internet Safety and protecting your child may seem daunting, but don’t let it scare you. Protecting your child can be as easy as talking with them and asking them questions about their online activities and setting some simple family rules. Don’t wait for your child to be “groomed” or wait for them to accidentally see pornography or any other inappropriate content before you take the necessary steps to protect them.
The Internet is ever changing and is not just on computers anymore. New apps for mobile devices are constantly being created and used. Stay one step ahead of your children, and know what the most popular apps and social media sites are and talk to your kids about how they use them. Read about current technology and trends, the Net Nanny blog is a great resource to help you stay up-to-date and aware.
If you don’t have time to review your child’s social networks and their conversations, Net Nanny Social can help by making it easier to review everything in one place.
Use the promo code “ModernMom” for 30% off all Net Nanny products.