How to Protect Your Child’s Privacy Online
Threats children and teens face online is very real: online predators, hacking, substance abuse and more. Nowadays, devising a child’s online safety plan can be overwhelming. Terrifying reports and headlines of horrible crimes criminals perpetuate through the internet often saps the tiny drop of confidence parents has on the physical and cyber security of their teenage children. Online privacy and the safety of your kids and young adult should never be left to chance.
Cyber bullying and Sexting
In the recent past, parents used to worry primarily about online sex predators. Nowadays they have to consider a number of other factors lurking behind the computers screens. These threats can range from cyber bullying, sexting and personal over sharing information.
Listed below are some terrifying statistics that teens face:
- 1 in 10 cyber children seeks help from an adult.
- 1 in 3 children will experience cyber bullying.
- 58% of teens feel it is safe to post photos or intimate details online.
- Almost half of all teens do not care about their online reputation hurting future goals.
- 27% of adolescents say that sex is frequent and normal.
- Teenagers who engage in 4 or more negative online activities are more likely to receive sexts or dating requests.
Teens, electronic media and parents
Kids, particularly in their teens may seem to have all the answers in life, but the reality is that they still require adults in their lives who can provide instruction, model positive life skills, and correct negative behaviors.
It is clear that parental involvement can be a significant deciding factor when it comes to children Internet safety. Honesty is the best method to promote safety while still allowing the privacy of your kids. Being truthful about the concerns of parents and establishing a sound basis for guidance, intervention, and proactive measures offer the best hope for educating children who make healthy life choices.
Here are some tips to cultivate teenage privacy while offering parent’s peace of mind:
Develop technological paradises. Bedrooms, bathrooms, or family dinner table are excellent places to ban technology. This gives teens the opportunity to unplug and possibly prevent misuse. Turn off every day and night. Choose a designated time to turn off and recharge for the next day.
Create home rules or a contract with your kids about cell phone use and technology. Include the whole family and negotiate the terms to make sure everyone is carried along. Limit the amount of data or texts a child can use. A study of PEW Internet and American Life noted that teens with limited cell phone plans were less likely to engage in sexting. Surprisingly, this was more of an impediment than if a parent actively snoops through a telephone.
Use a variety of ways and methods to stay informed about using your teenager’s technology. Have discussions, be a friend to your child and use monitoring software to keep all your child’s accounts accessible in one place. Remember that your child is still a kid. Everyone makes mistakes, and part of growing up is learning from those experiences. In other words, show understanding by not being overly critical of your kids, and enforce rules without being draconian. Your kid’s cooperation is needed if you are to succeed.