If you’ve been thinking about monitoring your child’s Internet usage, you’re not alone. Millions of parents struggle with the same thought. They all want to track what sites their teenage kids visit at night, but no one wants to sound intrusive.
Regardless, you know something must be done to keep your children safe when using the Internet. If you don’t, your children will be at risk of facing some of the following dangers of the Internet.
Nearly half of all teenagers with smartphones have been bullied online. One in four of them were bullied more than once. What’s worse, many online bullying victims don’t disclose it to their loved ones. This leaves them distressed and confused.
Monitoring your child’s Internet usage can help you notice when someone bullies them and take action immediately. But how do you go about it? While some parents physically check their kids’ text messages and social media posts, there’s a more effective way.
Speaking to your kids frequently to find out whether they’re bullied works. This is because most teenagers hate being bullied and will be cooperative if you give them the attention they need.
#2: Excessive Screen Time
Kids love video games, movies and social media. But these Internet-based entertainment sources can also be addictive. If your child spends all day playing video games and very little time doing personal chores or reading, it’s probably time you did something about it.
You could always talk to them and threaten to takeaways their smartphones and laptops. Alternatively, you can try some of the punishment tips you’ve read on blogs and TV shows. But if none of that works, let technology help you out.
Put simply; you can use parental control apps to limit the numbers of hours your children spend in front of screens. It may involve sneaking an app on your child’s smartphone, but it will relieve you all the stresses of dealing with kids addicted to the Internet.
#3: Identity Theft
Identity theft is more prevalent than earlier thought. In 2018, three million Americans became victims of fraud. 25% of them also lost money in the process. In 2017, one in 15 Americans experienced the same problem, with up to 30% of the group having their data compromised.
Research shows cybercriminals mostly targets vulnerable Internet users. If you don’t use antiviruses on your computers, for example, you’re more likely to receive malware.
Identity theft crooks operate in the same way. They may disguise themselves as friends or persons of authority. If you give them the information they need to assume your identity, nothing is stopping them from using your identity to defraud others.
#4: Malware on Devices
In the worst cases, computer viruses can damage files and programs on your child’s computer. That could include their school projects or any personal work they may have saved on their devices. If your financial information is linked to the same computers, a computer virus attack can quickly lead to credit card fraud.
Some hackers may hold your data and your kids’ files hostage and vow to destroy it unless you pay a ransom. By the time you recover from the malware attack, you may have spent thousands of dollars and sacrificed crucial personal projects.
Installing an anti-malware program on your family’s devices can save them all that trouble. But why purchase a separate plan when parental control apps also prevent malware on your kids’ devices?
The best parental control apps do more than monitor what your kids do online. They are also security programs and block malware or any computer threats that may expose your kids’ data.
#5: Permanent Data on the Internet
Kids make mistakes. They say things they shouldn’t. But when they post their opinions or nude pictures online, you never know how it may affect them in the future. From job markets to relationships, political careers to court cases, people’s past Internet records keep being brought up.
Monitoring your child through an app can help you stop them from posting something that could affect their future careers. It could also make the difference between getting invited into an Ivy League School.
A study done in 2015 showed that colleges throughout America use data mining tactics to spy on prospective students. They spy students’ social media behaviours, websites they visit and other content that’s borderline illegal. If a college comes across things they consider to be red flags, they immediately disqualify those students.
#6: Protection against Inappropriate Content
Your kids are exposed to inappropriate content daily. Whether they’re watching cartoons or playing video games, they will likely come across age-inappropriate content. But since you won’t always be there to help them filter unwanted content, let technology do the work for you.
Modern parental control software let you decide what websites and apps your child should visit. You can use one app to monitor multiple kids, and you’ll be able to filter out content for them based on their ages.
#7: Good Parenting
The Internet is crowded with websites where people buy and sell drugs. Assassins get hired on the same place while some platforms offer teenagers tips on how to commit crimes. But even if your kids don’t reach to that point, they could reveal an unwanted side on the Internet.
The Parkland School Shooting perpetrator, for example, posted about wanting to shoot people on YouTube multiple times. Imagine if his parents had learned about his intention before he shot students at his former high schools.
Now, your child may not be plotting to become a mass murderer. But because kids use the Internet to express their feelings and frequently wishes, monitoring them can help you stop them from doing things they could regret later on.
If you love your kids and want them to be responsible Internet users, get involved. Talk to them about using social media responsibly. Teach them to be disciplined when playing online video games or when streaming movies.
But if you’ve tried talking and it didn’t help very much, try technology. Install parental control software on their computers. Filter content you don’t want them to access. Put a cap on their screen time and get alerts when they break your rules. You’ll have an easy time raising responsible kids.