We are living in a digital world so monitoring your child while they learn or play online is not enough. Empower them with the skills to think before they click! Keeping your child talking at every turn is the secret to a confident surfer of the future.

What are the seven realities that your child could face?

  1. Online grooming
    Predators use various digital mediums, chat rooms, or online gaming platforms to build relationships with children to gain their trust. They are master manipulators who can trick children into sharing personal information, engaging in inappropriate conversations, or even meeting in person.
  2. Cyberbullying
    The world is full of bullies and technology is now being used to harass, intimidate, or embarrass others. Our children are often innocent targets of cyberbullying. This can happen through social media, messaging apps, or online games and even YouTube. This type of behaviour can have serious emotional and psychological effects on a child.
  3. Phishing and scams
    Often children unknowingly fall victim to phishing attempts or online scams. For example, they intercept a message or pop-up asking for personal information or payment details, disguised as legitimate requests or offers. If they can read, they can be tricked.
  4. Exposure to inappropriate content
    You cannot monitor your child 24/7; children may stumble upon or be intentionally exposed to inappropriate content online. This includes explicit images, violence, hate speech, or extremist ideologies. This can occur through search engine results, social media, or even through seemingly harmless websites or apps. Preparing them to be able to identify, walk away and speak up against it is the best way to protect them.
  5. Identity theft
    Your children are special and their names and images of them are precious. Children’s personal information, such as their name, images or address can be stolen and used for fraudulent purposes. This can happen if children unknowingly share such information online or if their parents’ or guardians’ online accounts are compromised.
  6. Online challenges and dares
    Often this only comes later but teaching children that they can say no can never be done too young. Some online trends or challenges can be dangerous or harmful to children. These challenges often involve self-harm and risky behaviour, or encourage them to make bad decisions.
  7. Unwanted exposure and exploitation
    Children could unintentionally share personal information, photos, and even videos online that can be used by others for exploitation or blackmail. This will have long-lasting consequences for the child’s privacy, reputation, confidence, and safety.

Parents and children need to become more aware of the dangers that are out there and start having the conversations now. It’s never too early to protect and educate them.