Internet Dangers for Kids and Teens and How to Keep Them Safe Online?
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Internet Dangers for Kids and Teens and How to Keep Them Safe Online?

Are you aware of the dangers for kids and teens being online? Internet is a wonderful world of learning and unlimited knowledge but at the same time our kids and teens are exposed to a world of risk and dangers. On-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for kids and teens, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they hit the road exploring the information highway. As a parent or teacher It is important for you to be aware of the dangers lurking on the Internet for your children and take the measure to keep them safe. At the bottom of the post there is a list of useful sites, articles and links to know more and get tips, ideas to keep our children safe online.

Are you aware of the dangers for kids and teens being online? Internet is a wonderful world of learning and unlimited knowledge but at the same time our kids and teens are exposed to a world of risk and dangers. On-line computer exploration opens a world of possibilities for kids and teens, expanding their horizons and exposing them to different cultures and ways of life, they can be exposed to dangers as they hit the road exploring the information highway. As a parent or teacher It is important for you to be aware of the dangers lurking on the Internet for your children and take the measure to keep them safe. At the bottom of the post there is a list of useful sites, articles and links to know more and get tips, ideas to keep our children safe online.

Perhaps one of the most alarming findings comes from a recent survey, many of whom admitted they knew very little about their teen's Internet activities. Fortunately, the survey also shows when parents and guardians talk to their teens about online safety their exposure to potential threats decline and they make safer decisions.

Children at Risk: A recent study finds that sometimes girls rely too much on their own judgment in making decisions about how to behave online. 30 percent of girls report that they have been sexually harassed in a chat room, but only 7 percent told their mothers or fathers...

When asked how they know what is safe or unsafe behavior on the Internet?,

  • 84 percent of online respondents cited their own common sense.                            
  • By contrast, 51 percent of these girls cited learning from parents,
  • 46 percent said television and the media,
  • 29 percent said teachers,
  • 29 percent said friends,
  • and 4 percent said, "Nothing is that bad online because it is not really real.

"What are some warning signs that my children may be involved in something they shouldn't be while on the Internet (i.e. chatting with a stranger, downloading explicit material, etc.)?

  • Online late at night
  • Excessive use of the Internet
  • Closing computer applications when a parent/guardian/adult walks into the room
  • Downloaded files with the suffix .jpg, .gif; .bmp, .tif, .pcx(These indicate images or pictures)
  • Phone calls or mail from stranger

For children of any age the Internet opens up a world of possibilities for learning and exploring. Unfortunately, it also presents some risks.

Child victimization

  • Approximately 1 in 25 youth received an online sexual solicitation where the solicitor tried to make offline contact.
  • Only 27 percent of children who received unwanted sexual material online in that time period told a parent or guardian.
  • In more than one-quarter (27%) of incidents, solicitors asked youth for sexual photographs of themselves.

Online Harassment

  • Nine percent of youth Internet users said they were harassed online in a one-year period of time.
  • More than one-third of harassed youth (38%) found the incident distressing and a larger proportion were driven to disclose what happened, than youth with unwanted sexual solicitations or exposures to sexual material in that time period.

Exposure to inappropriate content                                                  Approximately one-third (34%) of children ages 10 to 17 were exposed to unwanted sexual material on the Internet in a one-year period of time.

Internet dangers our kids and families:                        

Internet Dangers for Children and Teenagers: The Internet contains an infinite number of high-quality, interesting, intriguing, and well-designed sites, and surfing on the Web is usually a source of enjoyment and acquisition of knowledge. However, because there is no supervision in this environment, it is sometimes difficult to know when positive activity could become dangerous and cause damage. It is thus important for you to be aware of the dangers lurking on the Internet for your children, and that you discuss these with them.

Exposure to Inappropriate Content: Internet content is totally uncensored. Because of this, children surfing the Web can be exposed to sexual, malicious, racist and violent content in e-mail messages, chats and forums. Limit your children to participate in forums on sites appropriate to their age.

Crime Related Dangers: Groups of Web offenders (hackers, crackers) operate on the Internet, breaking into the computers of companies and government agencies in order to destroy and leak information. These offenders sometimes try to recruit children to carry out these assignments.

Sex Related Dangers: While surfing the Internet, children make friends and meet new people, and sometimes they are tempted to meet them outside the virtual space. Meetings of this kind could endanger your child’s safety. Sexual offenders are liable to use chats, forums and instant messaging software (ICQ, Messenger or Odigo) to gain the child’s trust and to arrange a face-to-face meeting for sexual exploitation purposes.

Politically Related Dangers: Extreme groups or organizations could use children surfing the Internet as a means of achieving nationalistic goals. As in the case of the late Ofir Rahum.

Love on the Internet: Romantic relationships on the Web are widespread for all ages, often relationships are created with people not in your child’s age group. In many cases, relationships of this kind move from the virtual to the real world and could result in undesirable consequences, even extortion or sexual abuse.

Intimidation, Annoying and Harassment: Children are likely to encounter disturbing, humiliating, insulting or aggressive content in e-mail messages or in chats. Private chat rooms could turn into dangerous places because not all participants can see the conversation, and it is therefore easier to extort or harass someone.

Privacy Violation: Sites, commercial organizations and harassers of various kinds try to extract personal information from children surfing the Web – name, age, address, telephone number, and the schools they attend. This type of information is often used for commercial purposes and, in more serious cases, for enticing and exploiting children.

Drugs, Alcohol and Other Dangers: One of the major disadvantages of the Internet is the lack of supervision of the content. For this reason, it is possible to find various types of information on the Web, from encouragement of illegal drug use through alcohol use, and up to information about preparing explosives.

Gambling on the Internet: There are many gambling sites on the Internet, and anyone with a credit card at his disposal can enter and gamble. Be aware that it is illegal for minors to gamble, and when you check your credit card payments each month make sure that no unusual payments have been made.

The best way to protect your child online is to show him how to use the Internet safely. Protect your kids from cyberbullying and exposure to sexual predators with these Internet safety tips from the experts: 4 Dangers of the Internet (A useful article from WebMD)

 More Resources and online links:                                   

 Staysafe.org – Parents’ Zone

IKeepSafe.org – Parent Resource Center

GetNetwise

WiredSafety.org

Microsoft online safety resources

What you should know about the dangers of the internet?(a PDF report)

Protect kids from Net predators and harmful material

* How Dangerous Is the Internet for Children?

* 'A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety' from FBI

* Dangers children face online

* Useful links for online safety

* Safe internet use for your child

* If you believe a child is in danger, immediately report to your local police and You can also submit a report online through the Cybertip line by visiting: 'Cyber tip line'

* 'Net Smartz'

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Comments (3)

Again very useful article...thanks Amera

Yes, useful

useful info. Thank you. Out of votes so am promoting along with commenting for you.

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