Effective Ways to Protect Your Kids from Online Predators
All that glitters is not gold. The same goes for the kids obsessed with the world of the internet and social media. It is natural for them to be attracted to social media and various other online platforms because they can derive numerous benefits from them; from communicating with friends, family, and relatives, to watching favourite TV shows and movies, to sharing posts and stories with others on social media, to playing games, etc.
Where kids spend most of their time glued in front of screens, browsing social media feeds, they fail to realize that they become easy targets for online predators. Due to easy access to the internet and social media apps, online predators can reach out to kids by following or adding them up only to initiate a conversation with them.
The dangers posed by online predators can be harmful to your kid’s mental and physiological health so you need to protect your kids from them. Parents need to take predators seriously and should be concerned about them. Innocent kids, kids with learning and thinking differences or with special needs are at increased risk.
But parents shouldn’t be much worried as long as they are taking all the right measures and steps to protect kids from online predators and other harmful online dangers. Below, we have laid out effective ways parents can follow to educate their kids on how to protect themselves from online predators.
Have a Discussion About Online Predators
Parents need to have a discussion with their kids about online predators. Most online predators target kids who are lonely, naïve and have low self-esteem. Kids with learning and thinking differences struggle with basic social, academic, and interpersonal skills. That is the reason parents should help their kids to be careful about the people they meet online.
Tell your kids everything about online predators. Also, tell them that some of the predators can be old men or women pretending to be kids. While others can be kids or teens. It would be good to share news stories about predators with your kids who tend to target young ones on social media or gaming platforms. You can also install the best spy app for Android or iPhone on your kid’s smartphone to see who tries to establish contact with your kids through social media apps.
Refrain from Developing Online Relationships
When kids are using the internet and social media apps, they can be prone to risky online behavior. In fact, kids with special needs or with thinking and learning differences are at more risk. They can be easily lured by predators with their sweet talks and develop trust in them.
Some predators display emotions of love and care to kids who are lonely and depressed only to gain their trust and confidence. They make kids believe that they are their true well-wishers and their best friends. Such online relationships with predators can be extremely harmful to your kids.
These predators can make your kids do inappropriate things or what’s worse, demand intimate photos and videos from them. The matter becomes even worse when the same predators demand kids to meet them outside. This is where these online relationships become dangerous for your kids. Therefore, it is better to teach your kids to never trust strangers they meet online and to refrain from developing online relationships with them.
Discuss the Dangers of Chat Rooms
Besides social media and gaming platforms, predators can reach out to kids through online chat rooms. Many kids join online chat rooms to communicate with others. It’s important to teach your kids about the dangers lurking in those chat rooms.
They should never talk to anyone privately in a chat room unless they know them or have met them in-person. Lonely kids or the ones with low social and academic skills are more vulnerable to risks in these chat rooms because they are always looking for friendships that they cannot find elsewhere. They may become friends with someone in a chat room but it would become extremely difficult for them to get out of this friendship if the other person has a greater influence on them.
Avoid Sharing Personal Information
Most kids have the habit of sharing every bit of their lives on social media. They share too much personal information without realizing who might be on the receiver end. Once anything is shared online, it stays there permanently.
Teach your kids to avoid sharing too much information about themselves on the internet. They should refrain from posting personal photos and videos of themselves that they wouldn’t want their family members, class fellows, teachers, or even potential bosses to see. They should also never share their home address, contact number, and the name of the school or town with anyone online.
Consider Monitoring/Parental Control App
Another best and effective way to protect your kids from online predators is to monitor their online activity with the help of a monitoring or parental control app. Some parents may not like the idea of spying on their kids because they think it’s wrong to invade their kid’s privacy. However, monitoring does not at all mean you’re doing something wrong. You’re only trying to ensure your kid’s safety on the internet.
If you suspect that your kid is communicating with a stranger or even an online predator, you need to start monitoring their text messages with a reliable monitoring app such as Mobistealth. You can monitor their text messages, instant chats, emails, and even phone calls with the help of the best spy apps for Android free. If you feel your kid is hiding something from you, then it’s better to install a monitoring app on their smartphone without letting them know. However, in other cases, it’s better to take your kid’s consent before deploying a monitoring app on their phone. That way you and your kid can both work together to keep online predators and other dangers at bay.
Make Your Kid Comfortable Around You
Last but not least, always try to make your kid feel comfortable around you. You need to make it clear to your kid that they can come to you and ask you any questions whenever they want. Let them know that they can tell you anything, especially the problems they face online, and you won’t get mad at them. In fact, you’d help them find the right solution.
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