With the way technology is advancing, it isn’t surprising to find a large number of kids getting more involved and dependent on the Internet and social media. Although these things can help your kid stay connected and informed, it still isn’t a good idea to expose your kids to these networks without proper guidance.
As parents, here are some of the most important things you should know about social media.
When it comes to social media, you shouldn’t only be concerned about the people your kids meet online. Although there are a lot of predators lurking behind misleading identities, you should also be concerned about your children creating accounts under false names. This frequently happens on sites that don’t run strict age verification processes, such as dating websites and chat rooms. Your kids can also open accounts under fictitious names to avoid your watchful eyes.
The Good and Bad Websites
The Internet holds a great deal of information, which is why a lot of parents allow their kids to use their computers. Unfortunately, however, not all websites are educational and good for your children. With so many websites that can easily be accessed these days, it’s also possible for your kids to open websites they are not supposed to. That includes pornographic websites and dating forums.
Bullying doesn’t only happen in your children’s school or at the park. The truth is it can happen in a lot of ways, especially online. Bullies can send mean messages to your kids or even post disturbing messages on their walls. They can share your kids’ photos, particularly the humiliating ones, without their permission, too.
The problem with cyberbullying is that it’s hard to recognize right away. Since most kids tend to keep their social media accounts private from their parents, they can have a hard time figuring out what’s happening with their kids.
When You Should Be Concerned
With all the negative things you can associate with the Internet and social media, it’s hard not to get paranoid. However, before you totally ban your kids from using any of their gadgets, make sure your actions are justifiable.
Here are some of the things you should keep an eye out for:
One of the most common effects of being bullied is depression. If your kid seems aloof or you notice any changes in his behaviors, make sure to talk to them right away. Kids may not always open up to their parents, but establishing a trusting relationship can help.
If you see your kid closing his laptop or changing its active screen whenever you get near him, there’s a good chance he could be keeping something from you. Another telltale sign is when he starts changing his accounts’ passwords so that you can’t open them.
When confronting a child with these behaviors, it’s essential that you keep your ears and eyes open. Jumping into conclusions can just make things worse for you.
Frequency of Use
To establish trust, child predators frequently speak with their victims almost at the same time each day. This consistency enables them to get a good idea of what their schedules are and when they’re not likely to be at home. In case you notice your kid going online at the same time everyday, it’s a good idea to break the routine. You can set a specific time when your kids can go online and make sure you’re around them when they do. It’s also a good idea to keep track of the websites he visits each day.
Rose Cabrera is highly enthusiastic when it comes to writing about home safety. She’s passionate about crafting articles that can help parents and homeowners protect their most prized possessions- their families.