Everyone is affected by influence. We are all who we are today because of one way or the other our society has influenced us. It starts with socialization within family, and moves on to influence from various institutions, for example, school or church. Not to mention the peer pressure. And there’s even more ways one can be influenced available on the internet.
Children are feeble-minded, and influences have significant impacts on them. This is easier with them because children have no prior knowledge about many things. Hence, the first experiences are intense and foundational to them.
This is the reason the internet has more dangers for children than adults. It becomes more critical that children are protected from these online dangers.
What are the dangers of the internet?
The rate of online dangers have been alarming in the last decades. There has been a broad array of crime that has been adequately perpetrated as a result of the internet. Some affect all age groups, while many more are more harmful to children.
These dangers include:
The internet has made the world a global village. Almost everyone is reachable and can access other people.
It is easier to exchange any kind of information online. And some of that information can be dangerous for kids. One cannot rule out the possibility of negative content getting to the wrong location, such as a kid’s device. The child could develop more interest in such content creators and follow their way of life. And let’s be honest, some influencer are a really bad example for kids.
And yet, at a young age, negative influence could impact the rest of the life of the child. As a result of the influence, the child can choose the wrong type of friends and eventually model his life choices based on the bad examples.
Exposure to the illicit content
There is no escaping the fact that this is a common danger people face on the internet. It has become the order of the day such that even on social media platforms, encountering illicit contents like porn and drug use has become the norm.
A child shouldn’t access similar content before they can understand what kind of activities are right or wrong.
This is a new trend that has now become rampant amongst the youth. In a bid to meet new friends, people become victims of situations they never wanted to find themselves in. People kidnap, impersonate, dupe, and do a lot more.
It is tough for an older adult to avoid being a victim. People constantly fall for phishing scams and unknowingly download malware to their computers. Kids are not used to scams and lies, thus, they can fall victim that much more easier.
Misinterpretation of information
People have their opinions about every matter in life. And the internet is a place where they can share their views with the public.
Sure, an opinion is an opinion; it does not mean that every opinion is sane. A child is just growing and can misinterpret various ideas.
How to curb the dangers
In as much as there are already dangers that arise for children due to the use of the internet, it becomes pertinent to provide a solutions. There is internet child protection software that can be used. However, these solutions are more preventive than serving as cures. They include:
- Getting children gadgets. There are many gadgets designed for easy and safe use. They include phones, smartwatches, and other devices (Doki smartwatch, Monqi kids, etc). These gadgets can be monitored by parents too on their own devices.
- Connecting the child’s computer to a master computer. You can connect your children’s device to another one which you can use to monitor their activities. Since the child is observed in school, the house seems to be the only place they can have internet access again. You can use some applications too, which links the computer to your mobile devices.
- Communication. You need to talk to your kids about the dangers that can sneak up on them on the internet. Make them understand what is right and wrong, and be available for any guidance or answering questions they may have.
The use of the internet is growing extremely fast. While it has a lot of positive aspects, we must not be blind to the negative side of things.
Pay attention to how your kids use the internet. Monitor their activities and keep them safe online.