Published on Oct 18, 2021
Children and the Internet’s Undesirable Content
The internet world has created a storm that no one can avoid and has become our second home. It is safe to say that half of the world has access to the internet. As per the report prepared by DigitalReportal, there are around 4.72 billion internet users worldwide.
May you want your child to focus on study rather than scrolling the internet? But due to online classes, it is difficult for you to keep your kids away from the internet.
There is a wide variety of content on the internet, and all the content has both positive and negative impacts on a child. During adolescence, children are more attracted to negative aspects rather than positive ones.
Parents should remove inappropriate content by using parental control software and other manuals techniques.
Why do Children Browse Undesirable Content?
Every parent knows that their children search for inappropriate content on the internet. The reason for a child browsing undesirable contents are:
As the proverb says, "Curiosity killed the cat." Unnecessary curiosity leads in the wrong direction when you are browsing content online. The more curious your child is the more risk of browsing inappropriate content.
In a report, about 44% of teens admit that they have watched online content which their parents wouldn't approve of. During teenage, teens feel they know everything and are curious about almost all the new things they see on the internet. Sometimes, they may click on adult websites out of curiosity and get addicted to such sites.
Friends influence more than parents; therefore, it is always better to have a good circle of friends. If your children have a good influencer, they will likely go in the right direction. But when the companion your kids keep goes in the wrong direction, it will affect them for a long time. You may have seen many children going in a bad direction due to friends' influence.
In today's context, the sharing of information is more straightforward. Group chat, messaging has paved the way for the interaction of unknown people. This has lead to the sharing of inappropriate content on the internet. It also has to lead to teen bullying, which has many consequences.
There are spam links on the internet that direct you to inappropriate content. After opening the links, the content may create curiosity among teenagers. As a result, children and teenagers may go and search for it over again.
In a report, about 70% of children from age 7-18 have encountered pornography online while searching for their homework content.
Undesirable Content that Your Child Explore
First, online gaming brings addiction to children; this addiction affects the mind. Even if they are not playing games, they are constantly thinking about it. You kids should know about online gaming risk before playing such games.
You may have seen lots of inappropriate content in online gaming. There is a large number of adult content on online games, such as advertisements which consist of adult images and videos. This leads to searching for inappropriate content.
Nowadays, online gaming has the feature of text chat, video chat, and audio chat. Your kids can communicate with different people while playing the games. This has also increased racism, bullying, hating, and different inappropriate behavior between people.
Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is known for communication. But often, when communication is built with different people, it leads to conflict, bullying, hating, and sharing of inappropriate content.
Social media made it is easier to convey emotions. But strong emotions such as hate make people sensitive and delicate; this often leads to the inability to control disturbances.
Many youngsters are not able to endure the constant hate and bullying. Social media is contributing to suicide, along with many mental and psychological disorders.
Fraud activities include online fraud like online shopping fraud, identity theft, phishing, lottery fraud, and many more. Your teenagers may reveal all their personal information on the internet to online predators. This may lead to loss of money and property. It would be best if you taught your kids about dealing with online predators. Fraud Activities include online fraud like online shopping fraud, identity theft, phishing, lottery fraud, and many more. Your teenagers may reveal all their personal information on the internet to online predators. This may lead to loss of money and property.
There are many swearing contents on the internet. Using vulgar words with vulgar meanings is common in social media, video games, and so on. Your child may develop the habit of speaking in vulgar languages with others and in public.
For instance, your kids can learn how to use vulgar words by watching online videos and gaming websites. Despite having lots of restrictions at home, your children can learn such kinds of words from the internet.
Self-Harm videos consist of harming themselves physically and showing it to others. These people might be mentally unstable, or they may be trying to earn money online. They bring disturbance and uneasiness to a teenager's mentality, and these types of videos affect your child's mentality.
You may have heard of many cases where teens are attempting suicide after watching the series; for instance, as per a report after watching the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," the suicide rate increased by 28.9%.
6. Violence and Abusive contents
According to research, sites belonging to the 'Cruelty and Abuse' group are most commonly visited in Mexico (8.6%) and the USA (7%), and in Europe, especially in the United Kingdom (UK) and Spain (both 4.8 percent).
These contents are mainly targeted toward the woman. They contain activities like physically harming others, bullying, and abusive content. These contents could bring mental and psychological disorders.
When teen boys view such content, they start thinking that this is how women should be treated. They may even start to show their violent side after watching violent and abusive content for a long time.
Online gambling includes online games like casinos, poker, bingo, lottery, card games, and many more. Your teenagers may start to play simple gambling games which do not involve money. But things may turn out serious when they become addicted to playing such games.
When teens become addicted to such games, they try to go for higher gambling which involves money. They might try to steal money from their parents, which makes gambling riskier for teenagers.
The largest group of online pornography consumers are children from the age group of 12-17. They come across online porn through different social media links, video sharing, curiosity, and searching content.
Pornography consists of content like adult videos, images, hentai (porn in cartoons), violence, and abusive content. This brings negative impact to children mind and psychologically affect them.
They may not be able to distinguish between realities and illusion. You can use many ways to block porn to some extent, but not entirely, as kids are smart enough to get the content, they want these days. Some children who watch porn frequently may develop an addiction to porn.
Ways to Control Children’s Exploring Undesirable Content
Parents often try to use strict measures as restricting the whole internet. This is not effective because of internet accessibility. Here are some tips to control children exploring undesirable content:
Parental Control Software
The parental control software has become easier to control and monitor your teenager's internet activity. These kinds of software act as a nanny for your children who guards and protects you from riskier content that you find on the internet.
Some of the best parental control software that you can use to protect your kids from the internet's undesirable contents are fenced.ai, bark, Qustodio, Net Nanny, and so on. Here are the reasons why people prefer parental control:
● You can monitor every activity of your children's device.
● Block and restrict the contents on their devices.
● The age restriction allows browsing only age-appropriate content.
● Disables all malware and phishing sites.
● Block sites like the dark web.
Parental software helps to give the required security and protection that your child needs. Some of the parental control is free of cost, but this free-of-cost software provides only essential protection.
So, you may wonder how can you be fully protected?
The entire package of parental software gives complete protection. It charges an additional amount of money. But it is worth the money as you do not need other additional security for your children.
OpenDNS is used to block all the inappropriate content on the web. It fully provides security to every electronic device in your home. It works by directly filtering the contents.
OpenDNS mainly protects against malware and phishing to the user so that online predators, identify theft, hackers, and thieves cannot obtain your personal information. However, if your kids are tech-savvy, they can easily bypass parental controls like OpenDNS.
Many browsers, app, and social media provide security options. These security options consist of safe online, safe browsing, and internet filters. You can easily activate and enable safe browsing.
Activities like phishing, malicious and inappropriate content can also be controlled to some extent. Try to activate safe browsing on all of your kid's internet devices.
However, this technique might not be as effective as parental control software as your kids can quickly turn off the safety mode.
Safe Search Engine
There is a separate search engine for children and teenagers who love to search for information and content in a safe online environment. These search engines are protected and secured from inappropriate content. Some of the safe search engines are Kiddle, Kid Rex, Safe Search Kids, Wacky Safe, etc.
There is a safe search option in every browser, which helps to surf the content safely. To enable safe search mode in google chrome, you can follow the following steps:
● Go to settings.
● Go to security inside settings.
● Select Standard Protection
Cyber Security Protection
Cyber Security Protection is all about protecting and defending the devices against malware, phishing, identity theft. You can maintain the security of your home devices by yourself.
You can apply different security protection software like antivirus, installing firewall, windows defender, and updating every software.
Some of the tips for cybersecurity protection are:
● Two Factor Authentication
Even if you keep a strong password, it can be hacked. Therefore, you should try to apply two-factor authentication, which provides a layer of added security protection. It becomes quite difficult for hackers to hack passwords if two-factor authentication is used.
● Phishing Scams
The internet contains many scams in advertisements and promotions; these online predators try to hack all users' personal information and use it for their gain. Don't open a suspicious link or any files or documents from an unknown person.
● Digital Footprint
You may have created an account for various platforms, but some of them are not used. It's better to delete those accounts as your information is saved in them. Online predators may try to use it for their gain. So, you have to regularly change the password in all your accounts, and those which you haven't used should be permanently deleted.
Talk With Your Child
Precisely talk with your child, act like a friend and well-wisher. Speak about all the online risks and teach them how to deal with online predators. If they have any queries, try to solve their queries to never search them online.
Child cell phone usage statistics can shock you. Most of the time, teens use their cellphone on the internet. Teenagers explore every corner of the internet. You know that your teenagers might come across undesirable content that will harm them.
To wrap up, if possible, use advanced protection; otherwise, you can use essential protection of parental software to keep kids safe from the internet's undesirable contents. There are different ways that you can also provide security to them through updating security protection software, installing a firewall, and using a safe search engine.
As a parent, you must explain all the essential stuff about online issues and online activities. Don't hesitate; your child is growing; tell them the difference between desirable and undesirable content on the internet.
Sep 22, 2022