23. April 2012 12:02
The ability to have the knowledge and skill to navigate the Internet and retrieve information from it is essential for today’s youth. Granted, outside of logging onto teachers web pages and researching data for projects, youth are privy to other outlets solely produced for entertainment. In addition, it is unfortunate that even the most innocent queries can retrieve pictures, video and written content search results completely inappropriate for youth.
Parents have to be evermore diligent to ensure children are safe online. Outside of the more ancient, yet still prevalent, issues of pedophiles and adult content, there are a host of new concerns. For example, cyber-bullying is running rampant. Also, the nature of some websites allows the sort of open communication that inadvertently promotes revealing dialogue.
Youth are often naive to the dangers of conversations or ‘posts’ that disclose intimate details of their lives. Simple things such as where they will be on a given day, where they are at the time, what school they attend and other information can leave them vulnerable. Sharing of dialogue that could paint them in a negative light can be an issue as well.
Children fail to consistently understand the need to edit what they may say or bridle their proverbial tongues. ‘Sexting’ falls under the umbrella of the above concern. In the same spirit, often dialogue between youth can disclose unhealthy relationships with elements requiring parental intervention, such as mental abuse in intimate relationships, drug use or an inclination to sexual promiscuity.
It is sobering to realize children can be subject to predation normally geared towards adults. Identity theft targeted at youth is often difficult to detect until it is too late. However, rather than become overwhelmed with “what if”, parents and caregivers can be proactive.
Technology has not only opened new frontiers of data sharing and communication, it has also opened new doors for the monitoring of youth. The ability to track online activity, retrieve passwords, even enable key stroke technology so that all data can be reviewed, can make the Internet a safer place for children. Software that allows them to know they are being monitored often can curb unhealthy or irresponsible behavior from the start. It also lets children know their parents care enough to be involved.
By monitoring youth, parents and caregivers are sending a clear message. The message is that the child is loved and the subject of diligent care and protection even when they are seemingly alone. In this new age, software can aid in ‘stepping up’ parental ability to the new digital era. Allowing children to engage, learn and communicate safely and responsibly with adult guidance.
Thanks to the team at Metro Title Agency of Az for helping with this article: