Social media has lots of benefits for people and your child. It helps your kids stay connected with you and their friends, helps them increase their creativity by sharing ideas, music, and art, and shows their great talents and personalities. You kids can also meet and socialize with people with similar interests.
However, social media is based on a network of people and people’s connections, there will be good and bad people. At teenage age with changes in physical and mental development, they are prone to be a victim of those attackers on the Internet. That is a reason why you should know clearly what the dangers of social media are, especially the serious ones described below.
4 risks of social media that are making your child a victim
Sexual attackers – social media dangers
Pictures taken by a smartphone can contain geotags, and attackers can fully know where to take the photo. It would be worse if your child is a selfie addict. After reviewing many of your child’s published photos, they can figure out your family’s routine and break into your home, or even kidnap your child. No parent wants this to happen.
On the other side, a photo of your child in revealing clothing (maybe she is going swimming) can be downloaded and circulated by attackers on websites that can be viewed by adults around the world.
Even worse, from taking selfies in revealing outfits, your child might begin to take and send sensitive photos of his or her body (also known as Sexting), once those photos are sent, your child’s friends can screenshot, and therefore, those photos can exist forever on the Internet.
Educate your child about sexual assault and its life-long consequences. Teenagers who do not sexually talk to strangers online are less likely to come into contact with sexual attackers. Let your child know that you should block strangers online, and trust your senses when you feel that something is wrong.
Research also shows that early access to pornography leads to this sexting behavior, so many parents have downloaded porn filtering tools to protect their children from malicious content, minimizing the risk of Sexting.
Also, you should limit your child’s exposure to a photo of himself wearing revealing clothing, such as swimwear.
Accessing highly inappropriate content
Social media such as Instagram, Tumblr has the Discovery feature, which algorithmically organizes content publicly based on user interest and interaction. Content that receives lots of likes, comments, and clicks will be easily displayed first. Often the content that easily gets attention will be related to adult, pornographic images/videos.
Don’t forget that most pornography and sex addiction begin in adolescence. Pornography negatively affects your child’s brain development, distorts your child’s view of self-image and encourages attitudes and acts of violence against women.
Although pornographic videos are not allowed to be posted directly on Tumblr, users are still freely posting links to pornography. Because of this, Tumblr has been widely criticized for containing a large number of pornographic materials on the site.
Among those bad things about Tumblr, this is considered Tumblr’s biggest harm to teenage kids who are in the age of extremely curious about their surroundings. Early exposure to pornography will leave tremendous serious consequences on your child’s development in the future. Even if your kids don’t purposely search for pornography, they might still experience it inadvertently because the amount of pornographic content on Tumblr is too huge.
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You need to use Internet content filtering tools to prevent your children from accessing inappropriate content like pornography on the Internet, helping them live in a safe and healthy network environment when your child is using social media on the browser.
One of the prominent social media dangers. Social media encourages people to share their lives. Sometimes it goes beyond what is acceptable. Since social media operates in the form of networks and connections, it requires the interaction and activity of many individuals to build a dense content network that keeps users engaged for longer.
Furthermore, the social screen features invite and entice users to share everything about their personal lives. Check-in, update status, upload photos/videos, and certain events are easier than ever with the touch of a button.
Educate your kids not to provide any personal and confidential information, private photos/videos online. Never share full names, home addresses, phone numbers, passwords, school names, names of family members or credit card numbers.
You will never know there is always a bad guy finding a chance to steal information from them for scam, phishing and a sexual attacker is always keeping an eye on their private life.
Cyberbullying is one of the age-old negative effects of social media. Online bullying is relatively common – a March 2019 survey from the Online Bullying Research Center found that 36.5% of respondents had experienced cyberbullying at any given time in life. It causes them to experience anxiety, anxiety disorders, school violence, depression and other negative consequences.
Take GroupMe as an example. As GroupMe promotes group chat, other children can form “groups” and choose a member as an object (not excluding the possibility that this member is your child) to disdain, tease, make your children feel be boycotted or attacked.
If your child sends sensitive photos in an impulsive moment, with GroupMe’s feature that does not allow deleting messages, your child is very likely to be smeared, teased about his/her body through other social networks.
These dangers of social networking are applied if your child is not old enough for using social media. Your child can be at risk of being bullied too if your kid uses Messenger Kids. Although Messenger Kids is safe because your child only talks to known people such as friends, family, and acquaintances, these close interactions also cyberbully them.
Cyberbullying is completely possible via video. No matter who and when you know your child is calling, Messenger Kids doesn’t save a video chat. As a result, if your child being bullied online, you won’t be able to save the evidence.
Any social network has its dark side, so you need to specify the dangers of social media or teach them the social media etiquette so that they are self-conscious and consider, adjust behavior accordingly.
Limit your child from posting photos. You never know who can interact with your child’s photos and videos, save them and use them for malicious purposes such as defaming, making fun of your child’s body, or sending them unwanted messages and comments.
Given the pathbreaking technological changes, your children are living in the most bullying-vulnerable environment than ever, be a friend staying by their side, make them believe that you are always there if they need help. Also, you need to stay ahead to recognize cyberbullying signs and well-prepare for any potential threats by continuously updating information.
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