The risks and possible consequences for children

8 August 2016

Children and young people have increasing access to the internet via home computers, mobile phones, tablets and gaming consoles. Schools will have qualified I T professionals to ensure that all devices in school have the correct filters in place and that children are monitored while using the internet. Outside of school it is more difficult to monitor what children have access to as they have a greater degree of freedom and not all parents have a high enough grasp of internet safety.

There are numerous devices that are available offering internet access and you can’t monitor what their friends parental control settings are. One of the biggest risks at the moment and one that has had a lot of media coverage recently is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is when a person or a group of people uses the internet, email, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else [1] This type of bullying may result in the child feeling isolated, develop low self esteem and even result in self harm.

The risks and possible consequences for children Essay Example

Cyber bulling is difficult to control because it can be done anonymously, it can also entice children into being bullies themselves as it can gather a wide audience and by watching online footage or reading messages they are actively encouraging the cyber bully. Viruses are another common problem of the internet. Children will often value free over safe and even though there may be antivirus messages popping up, there will be a temptation to ignore the alerts if there is an offer of a free game to download. Many young children may not even understand the significance of an antivirus alert. Grooming and Sexting

People who have an unhealthy interest in children will try to find a way to infiltrate their lives by befriending those using social media or internet chat rooms focused around young people’s interests. They will often pretend to be younger than they really are and appear to have many things in common with the youngster they are trying to groom. Once they have gained the child’s trust they may then try to gain control. Because children are vulnerable they may make Impulsive decisions without thinking through the consequences. Sending sexually explicit images through texting, social media or e mail is referred to as sexting.

These types of images may be sent innocently at first between two people, but once they are “out there” there is no control over the number of people who will be able to view them and internet predators may use this as a blackmailing tool. As computers and the internet play a big part in our childrens’ education they will be using them more and more for homework and projects. Making sure a child knows how to use search engines is vital. They need to know that not everything they read on the internet is true, and that they need to form their own ideas and opinions and not simply copy what someone else has written.

As parents it is our responsibility to know how the devices our children are using work, how to install firewalls and filters, and privacy settings and know what games they are playing and websites they are visiting. Finding out what children already know is a good place to start as most kids will enjoy showing off their computer skills. Ask them to think about the consequences of giving out too much personal information. We need to use a balanced approach to educating them about the risks of using the internet while helping them to get the best out of it.

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