Being Digital: How Safe Are Our Children?

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Our generation is so familiar with the word- digital. But do we understand its meaning? What does Children’s safety on the internet mean for us today? Are our children safe from cyber-crimes? Are they being conscious when they are online? Children’s safety on the internet is a topic of discussion when we talk about the power of networking.

Introduction to Children Safety On Digital Media

It has become more of a trend to be on social platforms and to share your opinions, thoughts, and stories. Everyone who uses the internet also maintains many profiles online. The only thing that you need is an internet connection and you are good to go.

But not only for social interactions, but people also make use of the internet for many other purposes like surfing the net for some information, or sending some data to a person sitting in another country or continent. One can also have a conversation with another being that has an internet connection, even if they are on the other side of the world.

So we see that through the help of the internet, one can easily use it for research and communication purposes. There are many useful applications of the internet, but only if used wisely and carefully.   

But the question is can a child of 12 years mature enough to be on any social media platform? Do they have a good understanding of what can go wrong in the digital world?

Threats to Children’s Safety on the Internet

1. Social Profiles

Most social profiles include your name, gender, age, marital status, education information, contact number and sometimes even the address. This constitutes your personal information which is easily accessible to the public as per their convenience. Many applications require you to have a display picture as well.

So the onlooker knows how you look, where you stay and where you’ve been. Isn’t that dangerous? Yes, most of the people who are your friends are known to you and so you feel no harm in sharing your personal information.

2. Addiction

Children are also smitten with these cool apps. They have to post every hour or they feel they will become less popular. Isn’t it ironic that the children have become less social in their real-life since they have become more active on such profiles?

It is baffling thought as to what they do being online. The tender minds of the children get addicted to the attention of social media. As a result, they tend to lose their academic achievements.

3. Cool Personality

There are many instances when kids add on more people to their profile just to look cool. They may not even know this person, yet they are ready to give them a peek into their private life. This is how cyber-crimes are possible. With the help of a click, anyone can see your daily routines, where you went for the summer holidays, what movie you watched yesterday and many more things.

That is the power of social networking these days! They live in a world where the number of likes and comments on a picture they upload or a status they post matter more to them than having actual conversations with friends and family.

4. Lack of Exercise

Children are addicted to their mobile phones and do not indulge in physical exercises. Obesity is on an all-time rise amongst teenagers. So it is very important to maintain your health and get rid of your phone for a few hours!   

How to Ensure Children’s Safety on the Internet?

Mobile phones are small pocket-sized machines that have changed the face of communication. Nowadays, most teenagers have a mobile phone. It has become a necessity for them. An average teenager cannot function properly without a phone. It means that they would have to interact with people, something that our generation has forgotten.

Their interaction with friends still might be functional as they can get a hold of them on the phone and have a chat. But the main sufferers are the parents and the family members. Even during trips and outings, they are not interested in the people around them but only their mobile phones.

Whether a teenager should possess a mobile phone is debatable. But it is essential to draw a line between using mobile phones and also to use such profiles carefully.  All the parents teach their kids to not talk to strangers. But do we know who are kids are friends with on such profiles? Who they chat with all the time? Are these people safe for our kids? There are some ways through which parents can ensure their children’s safety.

1. Healthy Communication

The parents cannot always be around when they are using their social profiles and they need some privacy but that does not mean you completely abandon your child! Keep asking them, questions as to what they are doing and whom they are talking to. Become friends with your child more than a parent. That way, he will be able more comfortable to share his thoughts and life.

2. Teach children about safety on the internet

It is a scary world out there! And the kids need to be super careful when posting nowadays. We often see that children under the age of 18 are using sites not suitable for their age! Children often do not understand the consequences of not being secure online.

Parents must take the initiative to teach their kids about online security. Being secured about your information that is available online is a must. Yes, it is fun to have social profiles but it is extremely vital to not indulge in activities that might hamper you in any way.

Early teens go through a lot of changes through those years and need help and understanding from their parents. It is always best to explain to your child to be careful of the harmful effects of using the net.

3. Online Presence

Parents must be linked with their kid’s profiles. This just gives the kid a sense of being careful as to what they post online. The children should not fear their presence but be comfortable. Whatever they are sharing online, if it cannot be shared with their parents, they should not be posted online.  

4. School Seminars

Parents must take an initiative to request school authorities to hold seminars on cybercrimes. Cyberbullying has seen a hike. People often take advantage of the internet and the information available on it to cause damage to the children. These acts are wrong and punishable by law. Morphed pictures often surface on such social profiles where the user is not the person to whom the account belongs to.

Conclusion

The teenagers form a huge part of the people who use the net. It is the job of the parents and teachers to ensure children’s safety on the internet. Kids must know about digital security and the consequences that might occur if they neglect it. It is better to be safe than feeling sorry afterward. Children need to be taught to make wise choices when online.

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