Alex Horsman, Community Blog Manager at Caller Smart shared with Healthy Lombard that as of 2015, 92% of teens reported going online at least once per day. Of that 92%, there were 24% of teens who said they are online constantly. On average children ages, 8 to 18 are spending 44.5 hours per week in front of screens.
Why Is Internet Safety Important?
With such high exposure to the internet, it’s necessary to teach our kids how to protect themselves online. Whether it be from predators, identity thieves, cyberbullies, or simply inappropriate material, it’s important for parents to show their children how to protect themselves and avoid dangerous situations.
This is no easy task – children today are born in the digital age and there is a myriad of social media and game sites that can be difficult for adults to wrap their heads around. Snapchat, Ask.fm, Kik, Whisper, Minecraft, Tumblr, Instagram, Pokémon GO, the list goes on and on. New apps and social media sites are being launched every day, for a more in-depth look at the type of activities adolescents are involved with online EveryCloud has created this internet safety infographic which breaks down online activity and the different risks.
Due to the ever-changing landscape online and the risks it poses, it’s important to maintain an open dialogue with your children about their internet use and how to stay safe by protecting personal details and not trusting strangers.
What Is Cyberbullying?
One of the biggest threats children and teens face when they go online is cyberbullying. Parents often don’t realize the gravity of cyberbullying. According to a McAfee study in 2014, 87% of teens have reported seeing cyberbullying.
Another random sample study found that 34% of adolescents reported being a victim of cyberbullying. These attacks may come in many different forms, but all have one common thread in that they are digital. Common forms of cyberbullying are:
- Sharing media (photo or video) that is meant to embarrass a person and is cruel in intention, violent, or sexually explicit.
- Repeated harassment and physical threats made via social media, text messages, or message apps.
- The creation of fake social media profiles to solicit personal information, or hacking social media profiles to send untrue and hurtful messages.
Cyberbullying, unlike traditional bullying, can be unrelenting and inescapable. Once a video or photo is posted online it can be downloaded and shared thousands of times making it impossible to remove it completely from existence.