Sexual Exploitation: Protecting your Kids at Different Ages Online

Updated: Jun 23


When should your child be allowed to use social media or other online platforms? The question, as easy as it may appear, is rather difficult to answer. You can hardly use any device these days without being connected to the internet. Everything is connected, whether you're playing games, watching videos, or learning. No one, including your children, is secure from the Internet of Things. You must closely oversee your children while they utilize technology. Regardless of their age, you should be cautious about their online habits.


DID YOU KNOW?


Through deception and pressure on Snapchat, a sixteen-year-old American girl has been sexually exploited since she was twelve. According to reports, the man is an ex-Marine who kept and published all of the images and videos online. Unfortunately, most children believe that when they share something online, especially on services like Snapchat, their films will vanish. Parents and guardians should think about parental restrictions and discuss social media with their children. It's no longer about blocking problematic websites or apps; it's about ensuring your children's safety.


HOW TO: TIPS & TRICKS


1. Begin the Conversation Early

It's time to talk to your kids about online behavior as soon as they start using gadgets or devices. Instill your values and beliefs in them while they are starting, especially connecting with strangers, or sharing certain information that they wouldn’t if not online.


2. Open and Honest Discussion

The first step for all parents and guardians should be to initiate an open and honest conversation, just as they do when discussing any other potential dangers. Being open and honest about current events helps to reinforce the significance of remaining safe online. When your children face comparable situations, communicating your expectations and values can help them.


3. Make use of Parental Controls

Consider using a variety of online features and tools to filter, block, and limit your time. There is software available that notifies parents of their children's online actions, as well as security settings that parents can use on various social networking sites to protect their children's privacy.


4. The Concept of Think Before you Post

Urge them to consider the following: Do I know and trust that particular person, app, or platform? Begin by asking basic questions to identify the items your children share online, such as before posting images, connecting with someone, giving their location, or downloading an app or game. There have been numerous reports of sexting at schools, which include sending improper photographs over mobile phones.


FINAL REMARKS


The time has come to have this discussion because no one is smart enough to avoid being duped or being a victim. Nowadays, talking online is a part of life, and children are exposed to a variety of threats. Parents and guardians must be aware of their children's online and offline activities, and communication is essential.


REFERENCES

  1. https://www2.ed.gov/free/features/cybersecurity.html

  2. https://www.unicef.org/uzbekistan/en/children-digital-world-benefits-and-perils-awareness-key-safety

  3. https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-kids-safety-the-most-common-threats-children-face-online.html

  4. https://usa.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/top-seven-dangers-children-face-online

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