Using Parental Monitoring Software To Keep Your Kids Safe From Social Media Threats

Using Parental Monitoring Software To Keep Your Kids Safe From Social Media Threats

Being a parent with a child that is old enough to use a cell phone can cause a world of worries especially if they have social media accounts. Parents are worried so much, they are considering getting parental monitoring software for phones. This concern is not without justification, since there are online dangers that even adults can be scammed into. And the scary thing is that, because of their inexperience, kids are very vulnerable to these online threats and they may not know what they are walking into until it’s too late.

What parents may not know is that social media accounts can be a source of stress for kids as well. It deprives them of the time that they need to sleep, and to focus on studies and school work. There are other less common, but no less dangerous, threats from social media. They should take top priority for parents, educators, law enforcement agencies, and social media sites themselves. They should be proactively seeking ways to protect children from these threats instead of just reacting when something goes down.

The Threat Is Real and Should Not Be Taken For Granted

According to an institution specializing in children, 60% of teenagers (aged between 13-17) in the United States have created and used at least one profile on a social media platform. As if this is not enough, more children are observing their parents use social media platforms, which may not be age-appropriate for them, and they unintentionally mimic this behavior. Here are other stats that are a bit worrying for parents.

  • 94% of parents with teenagers own a computer.
  • 76% of kids own a smartphone.
  • 72% of kids are using Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • More than 80% of kids go online using a mobile device or a computer.

With the number of mobile devices in the world steadily increasing, the number of kids who can use these mobile devices for social media also increases. And with each use, the threat becomes more and more palpable and real. And they may not even be identified by the adult, which makes the kid more vulnerable. The adults need to identify these threats as the first step to creating strategies that will help minimize their effects on the kids.

This is not to say that there are no benefits for children when they are using social media. For example, Facebook and Instagram, two of the most popular social media sites, help family members and friends keep in touch with each other through posts, photos, videos, calls, video calls and messaging options. This is very important for kids while their parents are away from home or if they are. Some social media sites even help kids with their hobbies and passions by connecting with people who share similar interests.

However, the fact remains that there are still dangers when using social media and kids are not equipped to deal with all of them. These threats could cause permanent damage to children so they and their parents need to be very cautious and look out for them. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the threats that kids face while on social media.

1. Cyberbullying is one of the biggest dangers for a kid on social media. Simply put, it is bullying that uses the internet or messaging apps as its medium. The thing about social media bullying is that the bullies are often anonymous. Their accounts may get banned but they can come back with another account and continue the bullying. Plus, they also act with others so they can gang up on one kid and bully them. Their humiliating, harassing, and sometimes threatening posts and messages may be taken down but once the damage is done, the results are irreversible and long-lasting.

2. Kids can access harmful and age-inappropriate content on social media platforms. These platforms don’t usually have any filters for content, and even if they do, content intended for adults can trickle down to children as well. Examples are graphic or violent photos and videos (gruesome accidents, burnt bodies on fires, dead bodies found on landslides and other natural disasters) that get posted on Facebook by adults, whose friends list includes their kids and their kids’ friends. Sure, Facebook may have an option to censor graphic content but kids can just click through it and access the photos and videos.

3. Kids are prone to sharing photos and videos of themselves on social media because it is “what everybody does”. For the most part, these photos and videos are only viewed by the intended viewers, like family and friends. However, the fact that they remain out there is still worrying, considering that they can be accessed by people with less than friendly motives. Also, kids and teens may post inappropriate content that may come back and bite them in the behind in the future. Colleges and businesses make it a point to track social media and these inappropriate images could be a factor in their decision to refuse a scholarship or job applicant. 

4. There are plenty of predators on the internet and many spend their time on social media looking for a kid or a teen to target. They know that their best gateway to make contact with and befriend children is through social media, where they can be anyone other than themselves. This is known as online grooming and this technique helps put their target at ease. Well, who wouldn’t be comfortable with a teen with a nice personality and great looks? This is how they lure their victims out to meet up with them.

A powerful monitoring app such as Auto Forward can help parents keep their kids away from threats such as these. Auto Forward can access just about the entire phone, and allows parents to have an early warning system in their quest to minimize the threats that their children are exposed to on the internet. Learn more about the app by visiting our website right now!