The internet hosts almost anything anyone could ever want to find from medical articles to chat rooms to discuss underground music genres. The internet is also accessible by just about anyone. Sadly because of the varied content and large user base, the internet can be a dangerous place for anyone who isn’t careful. The real problem arises when teenagers are exposed to the internet. A large amount of the content on the internet can be harmful to your teenager and they may be attracted to the harmful elements of the online world. These risks may include Cyberbullying, sexting, pornography, and other sexual content, identity theft, and online predators. Your teenager could find nearly anything online, even posts that promote self-harm and suicide. Protecting your teenager from this sort of content is vital for their safety. Here are some tips on how to protect your teenager while he or she uses the internet.
1. Instagram Spy Apps
Instagram is one of the most used social media platforms one can use and is often used to post selfies and other media. Due to the size of Instagram, there are risks that your teenager may be exposed to. The majority of these risks happen in direct messages or DMs. Four main risks can happen when using DMs: Hacking/ scamming, cyberbullying, stalking, and having personal information leaked. If you suspect that this may happen to your teenager, it is time to consider getting an Instagram spy app to set flags for content that may be harmful such as suspicious links and sexual content. A good Instagram spy app will also allow you to read your teenagers’ messages to make sure that they are not being cyberbullied or stalked.
2. Set Rules
Setting rules is often the best way to start protecting your teenager. Guiding your teenager is no easy task but the best thing you can do is to explain why the rules are in place and let them know that they are just there to protect them. The first ground rule you should start with is to never hand out personal information: home address, email, phone number, passwords, etc. Tell them not to use public wifi hotspots. Suggest that they do not let anyone else use their phone, laptop, or tablet. Don’t let them accept friend requests from strangers. Advise them not to open emails from unknown senders. Don’t let them click on links or download anything without an adult’s supervision. It’s also best to advise them not to share photos online or through texts or IMs.
Communicating with your teenager is important when setting rules and educating them on the dangers of the internet. Make sure they understand why the rules have been put into place. Encourage them to talk about what they have encountered on the internet such as if they have been bullied or exposed to pornography. They should understand that the real danger is what may happen if they come in contact with dangerous factors such as stalkers or predators. Pornography is often very taboo and often not talked about, be sure that your teenager knows what it is and how to avoid it as well as your opinion on it. Some apps can prevent pornography sites by searching for adult keywords.
4. Connect With Them On Social Media
Sometimes it may be difficult to see what your teenager gets up to. To make things easier, you can add them on social media. Each platform has a different way of getting into contact with others. But generally, it is a case of finding their username and following them or adding them as a contact. This way you can see what they post, who tags them in posts, who they tag and you can see how much time they’ve spent on social media. You will also be able to tell when they have been posting instead of studying or doing homework. On some platforms, you may even be able to see what accounts your teen follows and what sort of content they have been liking. This can be advantageous when trying to make sure that they haven’t gotten mixed up in the wrong thing.