Do you know the most common unseen dangers of mobile technology for kids?
The internet is a wonderful tool for learning and playing. You’ll find plenty of websites geared toward children and segmented specifically by age group. However, outside of this useful educational purpose is a seedy underbelly that seeks to prey on your child. Even the best parents can’t always keep their kids safe, but they can talk to them about avoiding certain dangers. Find out the three threats that you need to be aware of as your children start to use forms of mobile technology.
Online Predators Find Victims Through Games
While you may think your children are playing video games on smartphones with their friends, they might actually be speaking to a stranger. Online predators know what sites are popular with kids and will bypass age controls with lies to get to them. Your kids might think they’re talking to a friend or someone their age, but it quickly becomes clear that the person they’re chatting with is much older and has ulterior motives.
Further, online predators more commonly use video games to meet their victims in real life. If your child doesn’t know to avoid these people, and you don’t keep an eye on the people they talk to, they could be put in a dangerous and traumatic situation.
Children Are More Likely to Fall for Scams
As an adult, you know to avoid scams by Nigerian princes who promise millions of dollars or online games that claim you’re a winner, but not all children know to ignore a fake deal. While kids are increasingly internet savvy, they still have much to learn about giving out their personal information.
Even sharing something innocuous like an email address can lead to thousands of spam messages. While this act isn’t as serious as sending credit card or bank account information, you don’t want to deal with this inconvenience. Before letting your children access the internet, talk to them about private information so that they know what should never be given out.
Children Can Easily Bypass Age Verification Barriers
One of the biggest issues parents have with the internet is the age verification barriers on alcohol sites, porn blogs, and other adult content. While the websites set up the age barriers to show that they care about people younger than 18 or 21 accessing the material, they’re easy to bypass. Any preteen can add years to their lives and figure out how old they need to be to get access to a website.
At the very least, you don’t want your children looking at porn or seeing alcohol advertisements on their phones or tablets. However, far worse dangers exist. With a few clicks, your teens could sign up for multiple dating sites, lie about their ages, and start meeting strangers older than them. Not only does that activity put their bodies at risk, but it also puts their lives and futures at risk, too.
While you want your children to never have to experience life-threatening attacks through mobile technology, you still must educate them on the risks of internet usage so that they know to avoid predators who lurk online.
Ashley Carter is a full time student writing her way through college. When she’s not writing she enjoys hiking and any other outdoor activity imaginable.