Top 5 Common Online Threats That Parents Should Know

NordVPN provides a list of risks that children face online

September 19, 2019. Every new school year brings an increase in online risks. That’s because kids start using electronic devices more — both inside and outside the classroom. Nevertheless, adults still lack understanding of the most common risks their children face.    

“If you are aware of the possible threats, you can take steps to avoid them. That’s why parents need to know everything about the dangers lurking on the internet,” explains Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Not only should they inform their kids about the risks, but also show their example on how to keep away from them. Teaching about online safety should start as early as possible.”

Daniel Markuson from NordVPN lists the 5 most common problems that school-age children encounter online.

5 most common risks that school-age children face online:

Cyberbullying. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It’s a form of bullying and should be treated as such because it can cause embarrassment and humiliation. Encourage kids to talk about online bullies  and other things that make them anxious. Help them understand that they are not alone. Also, document everything that’s happening and help them to report users about their inappropriate actions online.

Privacy problems. Kids start using social media at a younger age than ever before. They tend to post a lot of personal information online without realizing the consequences. You should have a conversation about what kind of information is safe to share. Most social media or messaging services allow their users to manage their privacy settings. Sit down with your kid and adjust those settings to make sure their profile is as safe and private as possible.

Online predators. The internet makes it easy for criminals to reach out to their victims without drawing attention. They can fake a personality or get in touch anonymously. As for kids, they feel more comfortable online and tend to be more open to strangers than in real life. That’s why you need to insist that they should not accept friend requests from unknown people. Also, discuss information that shouldn’t be public. Predators find addresses, school location, parents jobs, and other personal information very useful. 

Scams. Nothing is ever for free. But the internet features plenty of gift offers, contests, or email lotteries, most of which are scams. And sometimes they are easy to fall for, both for kids and adults. That’s why, as a parent, you should learn everything about scams yourself. Only when you’re able to spot them, teach the kids. Advise your child to be careful about deals that may look too good to be true. Ask them to show you every suspicious message or offer they receive. Encourage them to consult with you before buying or redeeming anything online.

Fake news. In the future, it will become harder to tell fabrications from reality. With falsified visuals becoming more accessible and easier to make, everybody should become more aware of fake information. Also, kids often can’t recognize sponsored content or paid advertising. That’s why it’s essential to teach them about checking facts and sources. Show the most trustworthy websites, but also discuss how to evaluate online content critically. Explain how advertising works and why influencers sponsor specific products.

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