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The Internet creates amazing educational opportunities and is a great support for children in learning about the surrounding reality. Unfortunately, there are many dangers lurking in the global network for the youngest. The role of parents is to protect their children. The first step to effective protection is to know the biggest threats. Here are some of them.

Dangerous content

The Internet is not only a source of very valuable and helpful materials, but unfortunately it also contains a huge amount of pornographic content. Unfortunately, having to confirm that you are over the age of 18 is not a guarantee that your children will not visit such websites. On the web, cutting a toddler off from harmful erotic content is much more difficult than in the real world, where it is quite easy to prevent them from being exposed to inappropriate magazines, TV shows or other such material. An additional danger is that a child may encounter pornography in very many forms. All of these are factors that can extremely negatively affect a child’s psyche and development.

Sexting

Connected with carnality is another of the dangers lurking on the Internet, namely sexting. This relatively new phenomenon is closely related to the development of social media. The phenomenon of sending photos and materials that can be perceived as erotic is one of the elements that have the strongest influence on the depravity of children and adolescents. Induced to such actions by peers or older people, the youngest do not always realize that they are making a terrible mistake. Photos that once appeared on the Internet can quickly be duplicated, contributing to ostracism from peers. From there, it’s close to such serious and tragic issues as falling into depression and even suicide attempts.

Children’s University Foundation – How to keep your child safe online?

Vulgarisms

The Internet is sometimes a place where children acquire inappropriate language patterns. Often these are vulgarities and expressions that are not appropriate for their age, which they did not learn at home or even in the street. The web, however, provides a way for these infamous patterns to become ingrained all too quickly

Phishing

Children are often unaware that there is data that needs to be protected and that phishing for this data can be dangerous for various reasons. Sometimes they succumb to phishing for contact details. Less commonly, criminals are able to illegally obtain passwords and PIN numbers for bank accounts and cards from them

Dangerous friendships

A tragic element associated with the popularity of the Internet among children and young people is their exposure to harm by pedophiles. Online grooming of children is very often veiled. Sometimes they date new people they meet alone and without their parents’ knowledge, unaware of the danger they face.

Cyberbullying

Bullying by peers, so-called cyberbullying, is another problem. Verbal aggression is also very often present in comments. Videos often show scenes of physical aggression

What can be done to protect children from the dangers of the Internet?

It’s hard to suppose that we are able to control what our children do in front of the computer screen or smartphone all the time. Of course, there are censorship programs that will block much of the inappropriate content. Their development makes that we have many useful options available on the market. More and more of them are also dedicated to mobile devices. In practice, however, nothing can replace the conversation, awareness and trust that should be present between children and their parents.

Photo: Julia M Cameron/Pexels

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Lilliana Ross

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