Unluckily, dangers exist online, and it is important for both kids and adults to take precautions when using the internet. Parents need to be aware of security, and should also monitor their kids’ internet use to prevent abuse or identity theft.
1. Early Internet Use
In a survey of 825 adults and children between the ages of seven and 16, Shared Hope International found one out of eight parents allowed their children to use the internet from the age of two. Consequently, only one out of 10 make their children wait until they are 10 or older, as recommended by experts.
2. Unsupervised Use
As a result, many children are using the internet unsupervised at an early age. Studies found that more than 71% of parents do not supervise their children’s internet use after the age of 14, yet a shocking 72% of all missing children cases that start online involve children aged 15 or older.
3. Hiding Information From Parents
Unluckily, regardless of parental intentions and involvement, the Kidsafe Foundation reports that about 32% of teenagers delete or hide their browsing history from their parents. It is imperative for parents to be diligent. Likewise, 16% of teens have email or social media accounts that their parents are unaware of. Children even often lie about their ages to create such accounts, attracting attention from older children or even adults.
4. Sexual Predators
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) reports 15 percent of children between ages 10 and 17 have been contacted via the internet for sexual intent. It is highly likely many of these solicitors are sexual predators. Adults and children need to use the same precautions online they do when confronted with a stranger face-to-face. The Associated Press showed that more than 90,000 sexual predators have been discovered and removed by authorities from the social networking site MySpace, which has been very popular among teenagers. Many of these predators have been tried, convicted, and are now incarcerated.