May 25, 2021
Children and the Internet’s Undesirable Content
Everyone has internet access nowadays. The internet world has created a storm that no one can avoid. The online world has become our second home.
You may want your child to focus on study rather than scrolling the Internet? But this is quite difficult due to online study, school, and college assignments. Children can’t live without the Internet.
Contents on the Internet have both positive and negative impacts on a child. During adolescent children are more attracted to negative aspect rather than positive. The parents should remove inappropriate content by using parental control software.
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 to a bad 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.
It is always better to have a good circle of friends. Friends influence more than parents. If you have a good influencer you will likely go in the right direction. But when the companion you keep goes wrong. It will affect for a long time. As parents who may have seen many children going in a bad direction due to friends' influence.
In today's context, the sharing of information is easier. 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.
There are many links online which direct inappropriate content. After opening the links, the content may create curiosity. As a result children and teenagers may go and search for it again.
In a report, about 70% of children from age 7-18 have encountered pornography online while searching for their homework contents.
Undesirable Content that Your Child Explore?
1. Online Gaming
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 may have seen lots of inappropriate content in online gaming. There is a large number of adult content. The advertisement consists 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. People can communicate with different people due to social networking. This has also increased racism, bullying, hating, and different inappropriate behaviour between people.
2 . Social Media
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 not able 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.
3. Fraud Activities
Fraud Activities include online fraud like online shopping fraud, identity theft, phishing, lottery fraud, and many more. Your teenagers may reveal all the personal information on the internet to online predators. This may lead to loss of money and property.
4. Swearing contents
There are many swearing contents on the Internet. Using vulgar words with vulgar meanings is common in these types of videos. Your child may develop the habit of speaking in vulgar languages with others and in public.
5. Self-Harm Videos
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. These types of videos affect your child's mentality. They bring disturbance and uneasiness to a teenager's mentality.
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 per cent).
These contents are mostly targeted toward the woman. They contain activities like physically harming others, bullying, and abusive content. These contents could bring mental and psychological disorders.
Online Gambling includes online games like casinos, poker, bingo, lottery, card games, and many more. Your teenagers might start playing simple gambling games which do not involve money. But things may turn out serious when they become addicted to them.
When they become addicted they try to go for higher gambling which involves money. They might try to steal money from their parents. This 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 porn videos, images, hentai (porn in form of cartoons), violence, and abusive content. This brings negative impact to children mind and psychologically affect them.
They may not able to distinguish between realities and illusion. You can block porn to some extent but not completely as kids these days are smart enough to get the content that they want. 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:
1. Parental Software:
It has become easier to control and monitor your teenager’s activity. Parental software acts as a nanny for your children who guards and protects you from riskier contents online.
Why do most people prefer parental control?
● You can monitor every activity of your children.
● Block and restrict the contents.
● The age restriction allows browsing only age-appropriate contents.
● Block 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. This free-of-cost software provides only basic protection.
So, you may wonder how can you be fully protected?
The full package of parental software gives full 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. Some of the parental software are:
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. Mainly it gives malware and phishing protection to the user. So that online predators, identify theft, hackers, and thieves cannot obtain your personal information.
3. Safe Browsing:
Many browsers, app, and social media provide security options. These security options consist of safe online, safe browsing, and internet filters. We 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 internet devices.
4. 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:
● Safe Search Kids
● Wacky Safe
There is a safe search option in every browser which helps to surf the content safely. In the case of google chrome you can:
● Go to settings.
● Go to security inside settings.
● Select Standard Protection
5. Cyber Security Protection:
You can maintain the security of your home devices by yourself. Cyber Security Protection is all about protecting and defending the devices against malware, phishing, identity theft.
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 isn’t secure. So, try to apply two-factor authentication which provides a layer of added security protection. People will not be able to hack passwords if two-factor authentication is used.
● Phishing Scams:
The Internet contains many scams in the form of advertisement, promotion, These online predators try to hack all the personal information of a user and use it for their gain. SO, lookout for it. Don’t open a suspicious link or any files or documents from an unknown person.
● Keep Updates:
Update all your antivirus software, window defender, security software so that you are fully protected.
● Digital Footprint:
You may have created an account for various platforms. But some of them are not used. You should 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.
6. Talk with your child:
Precisely talk with your child. Act like a friend and well-wisher. Speak about all the online risks and give logical reasoning. If they have any queries, try to solve their queries. So that they would never search it online.
Teenagers explore every corner of the internet. Child cell phone usage statistics can literally shock you. You know that your teenagers might come across undesirable content that will harm them. As the saying precaution is better than cure, try to install different parental software.
If possible use advanced protection otherwise you can use basic protection of parental software. 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.
Always talk with them and try to solve their queries. As a parent, you must explain all the important 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.