The Internet can be a scary place, especially for parents. Nowadays, kids are pretty much born with iPads in their hands and it doesn’t take them long to work out how to use them. Most young people have a far better grasp on how to navigate the world wide web than their parents. Try as they might, controlling the Internet usage of someone who is always one step ahead of you is a real challenge and one that will cause you to lose sleep at night if you don’t address it head on.
The Kinder Privacy e-book, was written with concerned parents in mind. It can be incredibly stressful when you want to protect your child from the dangers of the Internet but you don’t know how to do it. Or, even worse, when you do know but your child also knows how to undo all of your good work.
Let’s begin by getting an idea of the scope of the problem. 97% of children under 4 years old use mobile devices and half of these have access to more than one at any given time. 20% of one year olds own a tablet and around 37% of children between the ages of 3 and 4 browse the web, play games, or watch videos online for multiple hours a week. There is nothing you can do to stop the Internet infiltrating into your child’s life. If you ban it from home, they will find it at school or at a friend’s house. What you can do, however, is keep them informed of the dangers.
What kinds of dangers should parents be aware of? Well, statistics show that almost 40% of teenagers admit to lying about their age to gain access to a website. 30% of teenagers have seen inappropriate adverts whilst browsing online and 17% of teens have felt uncomfortable or even scared after being approached online by a stranger. These elements just scratch the surface of what is out there, lurking in the Internet.
So, how do you keep your child safe from these dangers? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule and every household will require different rules, but there are certainly some guidelines you can use to get started.
The most important thing is to educate you child of the potential dangers. Children are generally resistant to authority and they do not like being told what to do, especially if they don’t see a reason behind it. Just as you would tell a child to look before they cross the road because if they don’t they might get hit by a car, you need to explain the why’s as well as the what’s when talking about Internet safety.
Start by explaining the types of dangers they may face online and then move to explain techniques they can use to keep these dangers at bay. Advising your child not to share their location or personal information online is a good way to start. Make them aware of the dangers of talking to strangers or sharing images of themselves online. Slowly, but surely, you will begin to create a mind map of do’s and don’ts within your child’s mind. You should also limit your child’s screen time, particularly when they are very young.
If this brief discussion has sparked your interest in Internet safety, check out the Kinder Privacy e-book and get fully informed on how to keep your child out of harm’s way.
Download it here