With the children becoming increasingly attached to their devices and being online, I am always worried about online safety especially when I read about cyber bullying and online predators. I always have passwords in place as well as parental control to ensure that they are visiting sites suitable to their age.
I have noticed though that inspite of this, I have to closely monitor the content they access and be vigilant about what they are viewing.
My son loves Minecraft and loves playing the game. What he also loves doing it watching videos on You Tube about building in Minecraft and he (like most kids are these days) is very good at getting onto You Tube and accessing the videos on his own.
However, the other day, I was listening while he was watching the video and I overheard some ‘rude’ words being spoken in the video. Now, at 6, he doesn’t take notice of these words. But I do, and I don’t want it to be a part of his vocabulary.
Of course, I know I am not alone in this and most parents are worried about the same thing.
They asked: “How would you rate the following parenting issues related to technology?” Rated from Not at all Worried, to Concerned, to Extremely Worried. The results were quite interesting and I can definitely relate to them
· 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
In terms of what parents were doing to protect their children, My Voucher Codes received the following answers.
- Many parents would look to block access via router to stop their children accessing adult content.
- Parents also relied upon a certain level of trust that their children could speak to them about online bullying and grooming with parents stating that they would talk to their children about the dangers of sharing inappropriate images.
- Monitoring what their children are doing online and on social media as well as who is contacting them.
Mark Pearson, founder of My Voucher Codes, commented on the findings:
“Looking at how bullies can attack easily online and how inappropriate things are shared online, we are not surprised to see these have parents most worried. In an age where technology is always evolving, we are not surprised that the main concern for parents is privacy. We have seen from previous research that young people can be quite naive when it comes to what they do online and share on social media.”
“Recently many service providers are by default blocking adult content, which reduces the risk of children accessing and viewing something they shouldn’t. However there is a certain amount of responsibility on parents to not only monitor what their children do online but also educating them the dangers they could face.”
As mentioned, I am quite vigilant about what my children are up to online and I monitor them quite closely. How about you? Do you monitor your children? What steps do you take? How concerned are you about online safety? Do you have an experience that you would like to share?
Leave me a line in the comments below as I would love to know your views.