Today’s youth face a whole host of threats that previous generations never had to face; one of those threats is the internet. While the Internet has done a lot of good in some areas, it’s also created a nightmare scenario for parents, by giving the sickos of the world easy access to their children.
If you have children, you need to understand the threats that are out there and then take the necessary steps to protect them from these very real 21st century problems.
I don’t understand why any parent would allow their kids to use social media sites and apps like Facebook, KiK, Snapchat, and Instagram – especially Snapchat, since the app was specifically designed by its creators as a “safe” sexting app for teens and young adults. By allowing them to use a service like Snapchat, you are basically giving them license to do things they shouldn’t be doing – why else would they need an app that supposedly makes images disappear after the user receives and views it.
Nothing good can come from giving your kid access to this world. In fact, these sites and apps are the top stalking grounds for internet predators.
According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, in 82% of online sex crimes that targeted minors, the predator used the victim’s social media profile to gain information about the victim’s likes and dislike. Because of the huge amount of information these kids share, predators are now able to use this material to not only profile their victims, but groom them by using that information against them.
65% of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking profile to get home and school information about the victim.
26% of online sex offenders used the victim’s social networking activity to gain information about the victim’s whereabouts at a specific time.
Disgusting apps like Creepy allow predators to track your kids every more; all they need is your child’s Facebook or Twitter ID and they can instantly pull geotag location data from the latest photo that your child posted on their social media account. As a parent, this alone should scare the hell out of you, and hopefully convince you that there is no good reason for your child to have a social media account. For more information on this threat, read our article on how your online photos are putting you at risk.
You kids are incredibly exposed online, and the push towards devices that are always on and always connected is making them more vulnerable than ever.
42% of kids admit they have seen online porn. The average age when they first view online pornography is 11 years old.
93% of boys and 62% of girls report seeing pornography before the age of 18.
Six out of 10 teenagers say they have been asked for sexual images or videos; 53% say they have received sexual images or videos from someone online.
40% admitted they had created a sexual image or video, and about a quarter said they had sent one to someone else by text.
So what can you do as a parent to protect your children from these threats?
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