Friday, 27 February 2015

Internet safety and Children

With two young girls, who are growing up with the internet all around them, and I mean HAVING to grow up with it, It does leave us a little concerned. J who is just 5, already needs the internet for school work. She has to read books from school, sent via a special website. They are also frequently on the I pad's too. Thankfully with the I pads, at the moment, it is just the apps, and the airplane mode is enabled so they cant connect. I know though this is just a a matter of time though.
A few weeks ago I was asked to do a survey about internet safety and children. This is part of ongoing research into the impact of social media and technology on our lives, this was done by online voucher code website​.
The results are now back and they have found the following...
·         Online bullying – 58% Extremely Worried
·         Accessing adult content such as porn, swearing, nudity, sex and violence – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Sharing inappropriate images – 49% Extremely Worried
·         Grooming – 48% Concerned
·         Access to extremism – 44% Concerned
·         Addiction to social media – 57% Concerned
·         Effects on Education – 66% Concerned
·         Privacy – 55% Concerned
·         Effect on long term health – 49% Concerned
·         Running up huge bills. – 65% Not at all Worried
This means that most parents are worried about online bullying, and adult content and inappropriate images being shared. I must admit, this all really concerns me. I have watched the TV drama, Cyber bully, and it is extremely worrying of the extent this can go. And this concerns me more then adult content. Sharing the inappropriate images too, really scares me.  I just hope I can teach my girls to respect their bodies enough, not to show it off to just anyone that asks.
When I was in my teens, I must admit I saw ALL SORTS on the internet, and mostly in direct chats with random people... when my dad found out, he moved the computer into the lounge, that still didn't stop people showing me private stuff, but my parents bought me up to respect myself, and I can happily, and honestly say, I have not flashed anything in front of a computer. Now, if I can just teach my girls that same self respect, I am hoping they can make the same choice. However, it is still very worrying.
I am hoping it will be at least 2 years until J needs to be on the computer by herself, and in that time, there will be strict parental locks in place on our computers, and I am hoping there will also be more to help the innocent children of this new electronic age.
Are your children allowed on the internet unsupervised? What are you more worried about?

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