With the wee one growing up faster than I ever thought possible, I’m already starting to think about her online safety. She’s almost four and uses my tablet more than either her mother or I do, knows how to find anything she wants on YouTube or Netflix (even though she can’t read or write yet), and can download, install, and play pretty much any game from the PlayStore. Even though we’re always around and I’m proud of the way she has mastered the tablet at such an early age, I also feel the need to be constantly vigilant.
My increasing paranoia is fueled by the fact that the Internet can be a scary place for adults, let alone for kids. This was brought home by some sobering statistics I came across the other day on SafeAtLast:
- 70% of kids encounter sexual or violent content online while doing homework research
- 17% of tweens (age 8-12) received an online message with photos or words that made them feel uncomfortable, only 7% of parents were aware of this
- 65% of 8-14 year-olds have been involved in a cyberbullying incident
- 36% of girls and 31% of boys have been bullied online
- 16% of high school students have considered suicide because of cyberbullying
- 75% of children would share personal information online in exchange for goods and services
The same article also included an Infographic on the subject, with some great ideas on how to keep kids safe online. You can also check out a text-based version of it on SafeAtLast with more statistics and ideas on how to protect your kids online, visit VPMmentor for the ultimate guide on promoting child safety, or find out how to protect yourself against data theft here!