It becomes a proud moment when your little one helps you out in tech tasks over the internet. However, as exciting as it may seem, it has underlying dangers as well, especially at a place where attackers ambush themselves and wait for the right naive user to attack.
As a matter of fact, we tend to educate our children in every aspect whether it be about the puberty of our adolescents, sex education for their protection against sexually transmitted diseases, self-defense among their counterparts or hesitation in accepting anything from a stranger. But most of us miss out on educating our children on protecting themselves on the internet. More, unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as a result of carelessness but because most parents even don’t know the gravity of parental guidance on the internet.
Most likely, if you are reading this blog post, then you must be a cautious and caring parent. So, let’s first find out what (god forbid) could happen to children on the internet and then we will look into the parental measures to be taken to avoid these dangers for kids.
The internet is full of people who want to infringe important information from internet users for fraudulent practices. The best prey to such people could be kids who can’t access the intention of the trespasser. In fact, they are eying on minor users on top websites for children in order to catch an inexperienced victim. So, here we can guide our children not to talk to strangers just like not accepting candies from unknown people. Unfortunately, like there still are cases of abduction even after repeated instructions to children, there can be cases of phishing fraud too.
Phishing fraud can be by email, instant messaging or just by showing attractive information to the user in ads. However, in order to minimize the chances, what parents can do best is to disable cookies on the browser which will show fewer ads. About emails, usually, such emails are sent to many people at once which is why they are marked as spam. We can educate our kids not to reply to spam emails or click on links in them. Regarding messages, we can get a VPN to spoof our location, thereby making it difficult for phishers to reach our kids. Using a VPN to avoid phishing fraud is beneficial because many VPNs come with a built-in feature of blocking malware and encrypting all the sent and received data making it a secure environment.
Regardless to the age, viruses are a big threat for every internet user. This is why there are several guides on how to avoid being attacked by a virus online. Kids especially don’t bother caring about viruses mainly because they are not cautious enough. Or perhaps they haven’t pooled money in buying the device which makes them less wary.
What they don’t know is that some viruses don’t even destroy the device but obtain all the personal data from the computer. Even worse, some of the Trojans are spying viruses which hide and feed themselves on personal data without the faintest knowledge of the victim. So, it becomes much of parents’ responsibility to make children aware of the gravity of the matter.
The best way to avoid viruses is to install proper anti-viruses and firewalls. Remember to invalidate the general misconception of people to get a VPN for protecting the device from viruses, which is a wrong concept that makes your device vulnerable. Yes, it has many benefits over the internet but certainly not to protect from viruses. Using a VPN helps to keep surveillance and hacking at bay to protect your personal data. However, viruses can only be barred by anti-viruses. Educate your children about using anti-viruses and firewalls.
Like us oldies used to scavenge for new objects and new discoveries in the physical world, kids these days do the same in the digital world. They have computers to make discoveries and educate themselves by playing around it, which is also very important for learning, no doubt. Although learning with computers makes smarter kids, there are severe downsides to it as well. The old-fashioned bullying led to physical torture, however, the new generation bullying aka cyberbullying ensues in mental torture which may lead to serious offenses, unfortunately by lawtoo.
Juvenile delinquency is becoming more and more common against which different countries have made different juvenile justice and delinquency acts. The strictest laws against juvenile delinquents are in the United States (6 years old); India (7); Pakistan(7); Srilanka (8); South Africa (10); Saudi Arabia (7); Singapore (7); United Arab Emirates (7); Maldives (10); Australia (10); Malaysia (10) and some other regions where the age for penalizing is between 6-10 years. In other countries like United Kingdom (10); New Zealand (13); Chile (14); Brazil (12); Israël (12); Japan (14); China (14); Germany (14); Italy (14); France (13); and Canada (12) there is a bit of relaxation in the lower age limit. On the other hand, countries like Egypt (15); Sweden (15); Philippines (15); and Argentina (16) are more lenient. In the Netherlands, people of 18-20 years of age are considered as juvenile delinquents and there is no penalty for below 18 minors unless a very serious offense is made.
In the United States, the lower age limit went as low as 6 years in 2002 after seeing many cases of juvenile delinquency. And not only the age limit has gone low but also some arrests of children of 6 and 7 years old have been reported, which justifies why the law has been imposed in the first place and why parents should take internet very seriously for kids. No matter some countries have a little lower age limit and others a little higher, it is a thing to note that all countries have some laws against juvenile delinquency or at least are amending laws regarding it.
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Since on the internet you find all kinds of people from around the world or make unknown friends on digital media, there is a high risk of cyberbullying specially in kids. The reason being kids learning and adopting things quickly without much judgment or kids being more capricious and impulsive by nature. So, kids either adopt cyber crimes by friends or they indulge in aggressive talks over little disagreements which makes them vulnerable to being penalized by law. Some kids don’t even know about cyberbullying and they just casually indulge themselves in aggressive talks on social media saying offensive things to each other which may put them in trouble. So, what’s the solution to it?
Because schools don’t educate on issues like cyberbullying, parents must educate their little, naive geeks to watch out their words on the internet. Since even after education, kids tend to do mistakes, parents can follow simple guidelines to keep this issue at bay.
Young people leave no stones unturned to discover their penchant for sex. This is why they don’t think of boundaries set by law. The law says that every minor under the age of eighteen cannot view, use or take part in pornography. However, most kids get attracted towards what their friend’s practice and a word of mouth is taken too seriously.
The problem is that there is no big crime or small crime on the internet. There’s nothing like you give the bail or fine and you are free to go. With cyber surveillance, any falling fur can be recorded and taken legal action against. Sometimes when a minor isn’t involved themselves, they are harassed by their ‘frenemies’ by posting the private pictures they shared with friends in common. But the consequences differ from countries to countries.
So what are the consequences of such crimes almost every kid commit without having the feeling they are even committing a crime? Let’s talk very straight. Although it is illegal, the consequences have usually nothing related to law. The reason why countries ban such acts for adolescents and kids is that they are not aware of what is right for them and what’s wrong and also that they are impulsive and fall for the moment. They are also aggressive in taking harsh acts of revenge. And when they take revenge, then it becomes a vicious circle they cannot really end. To cause more harm than their enemy caused them harm, they do a bit more than what they did and so it reaches a height. Once they discover it is too late, it is actually too late. What all started by a mere swear word on the DP goes to an unimaginable height. Listed below are the consequences what could happen to kids in such circumstances:
So, is it inevitable? Absolutely no. Parents can take certain precautionary measures to keep such issues at arm’s length. Following are the solutions parents can follow:
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These are the measures you can take at home to avoid problems for them. However, since we can’t keep an eye on them 24/7, we can still leave them vulnerable even after such measures at home. The best solution is doing all this alongside making friends with them. By friends, we literally mean friends; listening to everything from them without judgment or strictness. However, with certain things, we must have a serious countenance if not strict when discussing something that they ought to do for their own safety, so they don’t take it as a joke.
Again, speaking of the monsters of the internet, viruses, kids tend to overlook them when getting carried away by games. They download any kind of game which later becomes an unavoidable virus. And yet again, we get to know how deadly it is for your computer if you ignore those callings of update by your antivirus, specially when kids are home. Always keep your computer’s antivirus and firewall active.
Another thing which is very important for parents to know is digital piracy. Unfortunately, not many parents educate themselves about all the cybercrimes leaving their kids and themselves unaware. Digital piracy is downloading content like music, games, or movies without permission from the copyright holder. What is more unfortunate here is that when many parents tell their kids never to shoplift or steal anything, they ignore telling them that it applies everywhere, even on the internet. Apart from the morals, the reason why it became a crime is that the digitally pirated content is usually made as a bait to attack users. The right way is the safe way.
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For some believers of fairy tales like red riding hood, it may seem an okay idea to steal from a thief’s place. However, at the end of the day, a thief is a thief even if they steal from the black, grey or white market. However, still, if there is an utter need and there is no right way you can find the right stuff on the internet, go for using a VPN, which makes it a lot easier and safer.
Cybervandalism is yet another crime that many people do as a joke or just like that being unaware of what it really is. Cybervandalism is damaging someone’s (usually a corporate entity) data that causes harm to their business. It is fun to debunk a company or an entrepreneur who is in the ugly new years of their business idea, specially when you have a personal grudge for them or hard feelings because of a bad service. However, as tempting as it may seem it has as serious consequences as getting sued by the owner of the content.