The internet today is both a boon and bane for children. While it is a wonderful educational tool, it is also rife with dangerous threats, malware, and predacious sites. With the rise in children’s online game playing habits, there are more and more concerns arising about their online safety.
Today, parents need to be really aware of the risks and dangers surrounding the internet and should make sure that their kids are protected from falling prey to online predators. It is important for the parents to stop being lenient to their kid’s indulgence with cyberspace, and see to it that they keep track of their child’s internet habits and monitor them regularly.
The darker side of the online world holds sites and games that perpetuate gory deeds into the porous minds of young children. The illicit gaming market and pornography industry are intricately linked to each other exalting violence and exploitation. When your kids play online, it is the predator’s heyday to market, groom, and hook your young minds into unimaginable dangers. A simple trigger to your child can prove to be calamitous or even fatal. In such times, parents need to sit down with their kids and talk to them about the dangers of such horrific online games/trends. After all, it is always better to be cautious than regret. Isn’t it?
In the modern, technology oriented world today, it becomes even more important for the parents to protect their kids from getting their hands onto the wrong games. Today, the infamous Blue Whale Challenge game is taking the world by storm as there are several instances of grievous harm and suicides associated with this game. Parents should be wary of such games as those who play it are often impelled to self-harm, suicide, and habit of sharing explicit photos online.
There are so many trending sites and online games like the Blue Whale Challenge that every parent should be wary of. It is of utmost importance and indeed a responsibility for parents to protect their teens and keep them away from any sort of online dangers. For this, they need to know how to safeguard children from possible online perils and monitor their internet usage.
Keep Track of Your Child’s Internet Activities
An easy way to keep a track of what all websites your child is looking at is to check his/her browser history regularly. However, when your child is shrewd enough to know you’re snooping, he/she may go on to delete all the items from the browser history. In such times, you will need to consider other ways to monitor your child. You can use your wireless router or any software that provides a detailed account of the sites visited along with options to limit usage or even block the unwanted sites from being accessed. These tools can certainly help you monitor and protect your child from any untrusted activity.
Talk to Your Child:
As parents, you should be mindful of your child’s online activities and when you find something that concerns you, you have to talk to your child about it. Instead of just telling them to not to access certain sites or blocking them all by yourself, let them know why they should not visit such websites and why you want them to do so. Tell them how and why they should protect themselves online. Explain them about the social networking etiquettes to let them know what kind of behavior/discussion is appropriate on social networks. Establish guidelines and talk with your child so as to warn them about the evils of the internet.
Teach Your Child About Internet Safety:
Children are fragile enough to easily become victims to online predators. It is, hence, necessary to teach every child about the possible dangers of the internet and how one can use it safely for the good purpose. They have to learn that there are both safe and unsafe things out there in the cyberspace. Most children do not know about online privacy, phishing, viruses and internet safety. Teaching them about security issues and online etiquettes will give them an idea of what to do and what not to do. Highlight the fact that the online space parallels the real world out there and simply because they are talking behind an unknown computer screen should not necessarily make them comfortable doing wrong talks. You can start discussing online safety to your kids at an early age so that they start off with the right attitude even before any concern arises.
Ways to Handle Your Child’s Internet Habits at Home
- Make sure your child accesses only age appropriate websites.
- Ensure that your child’s computer is placed in the space where its screen is visible to others around.
- Keep them away from sites promoting unethical practices, violence and pornography.
- Explore the internet together with your child to teach them how to engage in productive and interesting activities online, ethically and safely.
- Make sure to use parental controls to monitor all of the devices used by your child.
- Be a role model and be conscious of your own online habits/activities.
To top it all, closely observe your child’s behavior and when you see any unusual changes, stay alert and keep conversing with your child on a regular basis. Keep monitoring their online activities and talk to their school authorities or even consult a child psychologist, if needed. If you are concerned that your child is already indulged in games like Blue Whale Challenge, immediately stop them from accessing the internet at home or elsewhere, and see to it that they are not left alone .Inform your local police authorities about what happened and seek help on further safety measures.
Remember that most of the online dangers go unnoticed until it is too late. You have to keep an eye on your child to gauge if something is bothering him/her and to avoid anything disastrous. It is important that parents be aware of the lurking dangers on the internet and talk to the children about online security to steer them away from online predators.