Worrying about our kids is part of being a mother, from trying to keep our small humans alive to helping nurture their minds. Protecting your teenagers online is part of this journey.
Although it seems like a distant risk when we think about the dangers that young people may face online, the potential influences are not always so far off.
The way we use and share our information in the online world is changing – and the same goes for our children. Additionally, the dangers of grooming and radicalisation are increasing with the open accessibility and sheer scope of the web.
Unfortunately, sometimes perpetrators can get into the minds of our young ones and affect their mood, behaviour and actions.
Our teenagers, for instance, can occasionally fall for this, despite being intelligent and having their eyes open in this globalised world. Through their strong and important sense of responsibility in the face of humanitarian crises, they can be persuaded that there’s only one way to change the world.
While we have previously touched on some ideas to help your children deal with difficult subjects, here are a few key pointers you can relay to your teens:
1. If someone is spending a prolonged amount of time trying to convince you of something, question it further using outsider perspectives. No one person has all the right answers.
2. Keep your online identity private. Do not give out your real name, town, school or workplace. This can be misused in many ways.
3. Do not use webcams or send photos to someone you have never met. Seems obvious, but after talking to someone for a while, it may seem natural (it’s not).
4. Your username and passwords are for you only. Keep your record clean. Do not let your personal accounts become used for elusive communication or otherwise.
5. Tell a trusted adult or elder sibling if someone makes inappropriate suggestions to you or makes you feel uncomfortable online. Together, you can figure out a way to sort it out.
If there are other challenges you’ve faced around this, get in touch!
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