Internet isn’t the safest place these days. Kids spend a lot of time on the internet. You do the math. Depending on the kind of access your child has access to on the internet, they’re exposed to all kinds of dangerous places and people on the internet. Furthermore, unrestricted access also means a negative impact on your child’s overall productivity.

Looking at the importance of the matter, porch has written a great article on the subject.

Teresa Siqueira From Proch.com

Risks of the Internet

The internet is a way of life for most of us. That said, it’s important to be aware of the damaging risks of the internet and to have conversations about these risks with your kids.

Explicit content. The list includes content containing swearing, depictions of violence against animals, gambling, unmoderated chat rooms, sites that encourage unlawful, cruel, or harmful behavior (think racism, suicide, eating disorders, terrorism), pornography, and sexism.
Some platforms have age ratings you can check for their content. Youtube rates music videos in the Partner Rating. Like in film, the major streaming services have ratings on their shows. Age ratings on apps can be helpful, but they don’t necessarily consider all the risks (such as chatting with strangers). Online games use a Pegi rating (PEGI 3 – PEGI 18) to indicate appropriate age ranges. All social media, by US law, is aged 13 and up.

Interacting with strangers. There’s a high possibility of children online speaking to strangers. Research shows that 40% of children aged 9 – 12 have talked to strangers online. Those numbers only get more alarming the more they’re broken down. Of those, 53% gave their phone number to the stranger, 30% texted strangers from their personal devices, and 15% attempted to meet the stranger. The best way to prevent this is through education.

Children don’t understand that these strangers could simply be lying. Teach them about the dangers, so they know. It helps to ask many questions and get involved in their online games. By investing time to educate your kids, you can protect them better.

The dark web. Another potential risk is the dark web, an entirely anonymous place on the internet, only accessible through a specific software called TOR. While the dark web isn’t illegal, its anonymity makes any illicit behavior hard to track and laws challenging to enforce.

To protect from this, there are excellent privacy filters you can set up across all devices. A VPN, or a virtual private network, can provide a great additional security measure. One of the best ways to help is to continually build your child’s critical thinking. If they can figure out a dubious site or detail, it can really help them steer clear of these harmful sites. Parental control apps are the best way to manage your child’s online presence. They filter content, block specific apps and sites, set screen time limits, monitor calls, texts, social media, and more. Most of these cost an annual subscription anywhere from $10 – $100/year.

Hacks and data leaks. Hackers may try to gain access to accounts, as well as embarrassing or harmful information about you, then extort you with that information. Children online are susceptible to this because they may not understand the importance of a strong internet password or two-step verification. They may not know how others can turn their private photos against them. As with the rest of these threats, education is critical. Communicate so your child knows what can go wrong.

You can check out the full article over here.

Porch sprang to life in 2013 to tackle the age-old problem of connecting homeowners with high-quality home improvement professionals. They started out as a home services marketplace, delivering project requests to pros across the country who make up part of the $500 billion home improvement market.

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