GUEST POST: Dangers Online – Why You Should Monitor Your Child’s Online Activities

Today I’m happy to introduce a guestpost from KidGuard, a technology services company that provides information and tools for parents to keep kids safe online.

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We’ve all heard stories on the news about the dangers online. From online predators to cyberbullying to inappropriate content, children are vulnerable to the vast amounts of content on the Internet as well as others lurking online. Yes, we’ve all heard about these dangers – but do we really understand how serious they are? More importantly, do our kids? For parents and kids alike, looking into cyberbullying statistics provided by the likes of BroadbandSearch could be very beneficial to combatting cyberbullying in your household.

One of the top reasons that parents choose to monitor their children’s online activities is out of concern that their kid has become a victim of online danger. One of these dangers is cyberbulliyng, and these cyber security facts suggest that 34% of people feel like they have been cyberbullied recently. And that isn’t good. Yes, we don’t know who or what is on the internet, but people shouldn’t go onto it feeling scared or vulnerable. With the rise in social media, more children could experience cyberbullying, which they can encounter on things like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Apps exist that allow people to get things like instagram followers free, and they can really be both a blessing and a curse. Allowing kids to feel good about themselves because of their follower count, while also opening them up to encountering people who may be unfriendly.

It is estimated that about half of kids will experience cyberbullying at some point during their life and half of the kids who experience cyberbullying do not turn to an adult for help (Megan Meier Foundation, 2016). Bullying, especially in the form of cyberbullying, can have drastic effects such as decreasing self-esteem, depression, and in some tragic cases, suicide.

That isn’t to say that social media cannot be a positive thing for kids. The Megan Meier Foundation reported that “65% of teen social media users have had an experience on a social networking site that made them feel good about themselves and 58% have felt closer to another person because of an experience on social media” (2016).

If social media is actually good for our kids, how do we allow them access while keeping them safe?

Communication is a great place to start, but often that isn’t enough. Many parents choose to invest in a child monitoring service which allows them to see what their kid is doing online and who they are talking to. KidGuard is an example of a great monitoring program that also offers great (and free) resources for parents to get you started. These programs give you the power to help keep your kids safe from online threats.

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When most people think of “spying” on their kids, they worry about invading privacy and breaking trust. That is completely understandable; however, many parents choose to discuss the topic prior to monitoring. While your kid is probably going to be mad about it, discussing it gives you a chance to help them understand why you need to watch out for them online. Many kids don’t understand the risks associated with technology, and may be more understanding once they hear where you’re coming from. Learn more about how to talk to your children about text monitoring here.

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With many kids, having access to phones or computers may unfortunately lead to a negative experience online. The good news is that you now have the power to know what is going on in their life and step in when necessary.

Would you use KidGuard to keep kids safe online?

Try KidGuard at 25% off! Use the code JGM25 and get 25% off your purchase before Feb, 28, 2017.

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(Disclosure: I received compensation for this post. I agree with the need to keep our kids safe in our digital world.)

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