The internet can be an exciting place. The idea of having all sorts of information in your hands and the ability to communicate with new people seems exciting. However, the internet is an equally dangerous place with cybercriminals and hackers swarming websites. Even though no one is safe from the dangers of being online, it is especially dangerous for young children to access the internet.
ExpressVPN’s survey reveals that parents are concerned about the various issues their children might face online. It is also quite alarming that young children are not very aware of the problems that they can face online. Cyberbullying is an online threat that can heavily damage the victims psychologically. But is it the biggest threat that children can face? Let’s see what threats children can face online and how aware they are of them.
Even if parents use things like firewall software, they cannot guarantee that their children will not face any issues while accessing the internet. Young children are more prone to being victims of problems like grooming and internet trolling. Despite these threats, parents can not completely deny internet access to young children. The only alternative left is to be cautious and educate them about things they can experience online.
Based on a study, parents believe that bullying (59%) and grooming (45%) are the biggest dangers to their children. Additionally, the threat of exposure to inappropriate content (43%) is also very high on the list. On the contrary, children revealed that the biggest threats that they face online are rude messages (34%), scary videos (31%), and bullying (22%).
The more worrying part is there have been cases of young children admitting that people have asked them about their home and school addresses. Additionally, some children have also admitted that people have asked them for financial and personal information related to them. This puts into perspective how easy it is for criminals to harass or stalk young children.
Even though young children may lie about things while using the internet, they do not necessarily do that to protect themselves from online threats. Young children mostly lie about their age to access certain websites. It is also very common for young children to lie about their location, gender, or appearance. That is why it is important to teach children how to protect themselves online and communicate about issues they could face online.
It is often true that children are not aware of the things that they can face while browsing the internet. This creates a problem for parents of young children. There is no way to completely stop internet access for young children, which is why it is better to educate them. If children are more aware of the dangers, they are less likely to become prey to cyberbullying and grooming activities.