The internet is a vast and complex network that has impacted schools, home, and kids. It has become an indispensable part of everyday life with various information systems highly depending on it. Innovative means of communication have emerged, including chat rooms, emails, downloadables, and social media, which is where most of our kids are stuck when they access the internet.
Parents allow their kids to have unsupervised internet access as early as five years, not because they are not aware of the dangers, but because they trust their kids not to go to a site that would compromise their innocence. But kids are developing, and they may not be aware of the dangers posed by scam sites, especially if they have not talked about it with their parents.
One of the major threats posed by unrestricted access is cyberbullying. This happens in forms of insults, threats, and aggressiveness. Videos have circulated online of teens who committed suicide because they were being cyberbullied. Their parents, who in most cases were not aware of what was happening, discover that their kids were encouraged to commit suicide through statements that lowered their self-esteem and self-worth.
If you have interacted with a teen, you realize the vital role peers play in their lives. During the teen years, you will find your child spending more time with their friends than they do with you. As they interact with their friends online, they also become easy targets for cyberbullying, which can easily push them into depression, self-doubt, and fear. The predators may see this as online dominance, but kids on the receiving end die a slow, painful death.
Internet access without supervisions means that you won’t catch such threats and insults in time, which could be detrimental to your child’s mental health, and in extreme cases, their very life. Without supervision, you will find it difficult to know if your child is attacking or being attacked. And if it continues for long, the results may be fatal.
Predators are not seen in cyberbullying alone as the prevalence of pedophiles is increasing by the day. Most of the pedophiles hide under teen identities and slowly warm up your child to trust them. Your kid believes they are talking to a friend, and soon they share their personal information with them, including their name, home address, phone number, and school.
Predators are usually cunning, older, convincing, and extremely dangerous. They use social engineering and other tactics to capture the attention of gullible victims who are usually kids as young as eight years. They convince them to engage in suggestive conversations and to share pictures of themselves online. Pictures could start innocently with a selfie and quickly graduate to bikini photos and nudes.
Without realizing the dangers, your little one will be blackmailed to share more inappropriate acts and photos. Some ask for ransom from parents or sell the images to the highest bidder. Without supervision, parents remain completely in the dark without knowledge of who kids are talking to, what they are talking about, and the kind of images they are sharing.
The internet offers a solution to the problems it poses to kids. By using supervisions apps, parents can easily keep tabs on their kids, which is a step towards keeping them safe and alive.