The Most Common Threats Children Face Online
Children’s online presence has increased greatly in the past few years, and even more so with the added convenience of smartphones and tablets as portable mobile devices allowing constant Internet access. And while this availability makes for a much greater convenience in everyday life, it has additionally resulted in some negative effects.
Nowadays, small kids, ‘tweens’ (aged 8-12) and teens are all present online as the most vulnerable group of users. They are most susceptible to outside influence and guidance, leading them to fall into traps and scams that would otherwise be avoided by more experienced users.
In order to best resolve the issue of protecting children while online, it is important that you are first aware of the top threats surrounding them:
Online bullies are just as common as those you meet across the school hallways, and the statistics provided by Safeatlast definitely prove this. Up to 36% of teenage girls and slightly less (31%) of teenage boys have openly confessed to being victims of cyberbullying. These activities are most common across social networks, especially where users are able to share pictures and other information on themselves. The bullies use the child’s weaknesses against them, and exploit them, often going too far.
Online scams are one of the oldest tricks in the book, with malware hidden in free downloads and entire ponzi schemes hiding behind innocent calls for help. Thus, they identified children online as the next best victims, often managing to get them to share private information or even their parents’ banking details through such scams.
As gruesome as it seems, child abuse comes in many shapes and forms online. It is commonly found on chat rooms and networks, where the abuser often practices false friendship until they get some inappropriate photos or information from the child, and use it against them.
The Internet is swarmed with inappropriate content – violent, adult, or otherwise explicit for child users online. These can be found on the most unexpected places, including educational portals, which is why many parents, as well as school and other institutions have applied specific filtering tools to reduce their presence.