The internet is a powerful tool that can be used for education for children as it supports their learning and research. However, the internet has potential dangers that come with it. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to protect children from the dangers of being online as there are explicit, disturbing and illegal sites online that children should not have access to.
A lot of pre-teens and teenagers spend most of their time communicating with friends online. With that, parents are not able to entirely monitor their children’s online activities.
Online games are easily available for download or to play through game consoles, computers and mobile devices. While games can be entertaining, you should be aware of the potential dangers to children.
Risks of online gaming
Online grooming is when a predator forms a trusting relationship with a victim through online communication, with the purpose of preparing the victim for sexual abuse in the future. Predators take advantage of the Internet or mobile phones as an easy way to meet and maintain contact with potential victims, usually targeting children and young people. Child grooming may also be used to attract minors to criminal activity such as child pornography.
Here are some warning signs that your child might be at risk:
Your child spends too much time online
Instead of hanging out with friends, they would rather spend time on their computer or mobile device, chatting with strangers. Your child may like being online late at night because there’s no one around to monitor what they’re doing. When a child spends too much time online, they become more exposed to online predators and paedophiles.
As a parent, it’s important for you to educate yourself on the latest online threats, establish rules and discuss safety practices to educate your kids about safe Internet use. Teenagers are particularly at risk because they mostly get online unsupervised and are more likely than younger kids to participate in online activities.
Decide on limits