Monday, October 22, 2018

Protecting our children in the online world

A few months ago I wrote this post regarding Internet Safety for children, where I exposed some of my concerns regarding the dangers of the internet and shared some useful guides on how to protect our kids from online predators.
My girls (9 and 11) have cell phones, I know a lot of parents don't agree with giving their young kids a phone but it's what works for us and I'm confident in my decision to do that.  With that said, I know the internet is a dangerous place; it's both a blessing and a curse and that is precisely why us parents need to stay on top of things when it comes to search engines, phone apps, social media, etc. Just like the internet makes it easy for our children to find useful information,  it is also so easy for a child to get caught up on the bad stuff found online; whether it's because they unwillingly come across inappropriate material or because they consciously seek it out, “the online world is like another high street for kids, and you need to be in it and parenting in it.”
Cyberbullying is one of the most prevalent issues when it comes to children and the internet because it is so easy for someone to be a "keyboard warrior" and take advantage of the person on the other end. Every day more and more children are suffering from depression and even committing suicide because of issues with cyberbullying and other internet related issues.  Online predators are also a real thing and they prey on children of all ages; that's why I urge every parent I know to read the following resources which I have found incredibly helpful when it comes to helping my children navigate the online world.
Whether your child has a phone (or any other device) or not, be aware that every child that ever comes in contact with the internet is at risk and there will never be enough vigilance to fully protect them from all the risks associated with it.
I will link two of the most helpful guides I have read lately, I hope these can help you as much as they have helped me:

A Guide to Protecting Children’s Privacy Online
A Comprehensive Cyberbullying Guide for Parents

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