From smartphones and tablets to video game consoles and smart TVs, there is no shortage of technology these days. And with that increased access to technology comes an increased risk of danger, especially to our kids.
There are many dangers out there in the digital world that we must work to protect our children from, but fortunately, educating them about safe technology practices doesn’t have to be difficult!
It can seem like a new online threat pops up in the news almost weekly, but it’s important to sort out which ones pose the greatest risk to our children.
Some of the threats that we should be extremely cautious of include:
Cyberbullying. It’s estimated that 43% of kids have been bullied online, with one in four having it happen more than once. Even more alarming is that only one in 10 kids will inform a parent or trusted adult if they are a victim of cyberbullying.
Cyberpredators. These predators can be found lurking online, on social media or game sites, and are waiting to prey on a child’s innocence. You can use these tips from the FBI to help teach your kids safe online practices, but also, be sure you’re talking to them about what is going on in their lives to help detect potential problems.
Posting private information. Our children don’t always understand social boundaries and may not realize that posting personal information on public sites can give out too much information to the wrong people. Make sure your children’s profiles are all set to private and remind them that if you can see it, others can too.
Phishing, scams & accidentally downloading malware. It’s always wise to educate a child on the dangers presented by unknown email addresses and downloading from sketchy sites.
Posting something that can come back to haunt them later. It has become commonplace to see celebrities, politicians and other public figures suffer the consequences of ill-humored and offensive jokes/content on their social media pages. Be sure to discuss smart posting practices with your child, and stress the importance of remembering that once something has been posted online, it can always be found again.
Ways to Protect Your Child
They may be living in a digital world, but there are still ways we as parents can help protect our children when they’re online.
Start healthy tech habits from a young age by setting limits for screen time and ensuring that your child isn’t alone while online. It is always wise to know who your child’s online friends are, and be sure you are modeling the same safe tech practices you are preaching.
Most importantly, never forget the value of face-to-face communication!
Drama Kids International is here to help children learn and establish valuable communication techniques through drama.