We all know that kids don’t see danger and many things that they do and as a parent, I have often witnessed my kids climb a wall or a tree, something that I would have done years ago too, but today for some reason I can see the danger that they can’t
Having worked with social media for the past few years I have come across many scams and horror stories that would raise the hairs on the back of your neck. The internet is a very powerful tool and used properly it can be amazing, educational and yes great fun but there are always people out there that only want to use its power to abuse others.
One such scam is what often happens on messaging services where often adults pose as kids to gain confidence in other kids. But there are ways to protect your kids from these horrible people.
Here are some great tips from www.webwise.ie
- Remind your child that sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. It may look and feel as if you talking to a real person when in fact it is a video recording. This can be very convincing and children/young people have more of a tendency to believe what they see.
- Talk to your child about using friends only setting on their social media sites. In many cases of webcam blackmail/sextortion, criminals initially make contact with victims via popular social networking sites. Children should always be wary of accepting friends or speaking online with someone they do not know.
- Ask your child if they think it is possible to pretend to be someone else in a live video chat.
- Ask your child what they could do to make sure the person they are chatting with is who they appear to be
- Young people or children are often aware of the dangers of sharing images or video, however, they may not realise how easy it is for the other person to record the video chat session and share it online. For this reason, children often feel that they can be freer in video chat as it feels like there is no record that the content they broadcast disappears into the ether. However, it is very easy to record without them knowing. The ‘Granny Rule’ is often helpful when discussing sharing private pictures/video online. Ask your child to consider before sharing anything online how they would feel if their Granny saw pictures/footage of them.
- Make an agreement with your child on suitable privacy settings for social networks. It’s a good idea to keep accounts set to ‘friends only’. This helps avoid strangers from making contact.