The simple fact is: you can’t prevent your kids from going online, nor should you. The internet’s educational and entertainment value is something that should be taken advantage of to its full extent. They can learn so much simply by going on YouTube and watching educational content, let alone by doing more serious research.
But, all of that would take place while they are using the family computer, which means you can supervise their activity, as they surf in a relatively controlled environment. But, since most children nowadays have cell phones, they also spend quite a bit of time online that way, too, or perhaps even more often. So, you watching over them like a hawk 24/7 is just not feasible.
You should talk to them openly and honestly about the dangers of going online hoping they will listen.
And they might, for a while, but their curiosity will always get the best of them. And you should encourage their curiosity and their free spirit, but there is a ton of apps out there which can be potentially dangerous for them. I say potentially, because the apps themselves are rarely harmful. What I’m trying to say, they can be become harmful in the hands of the wrong people.
Take, for example, any number of social networks apps, or any kind of app that is used for communication between two or more people. Any one of them can have a predator on the other end.
Your children can be exposed to cyberbullying, which can have damaging effects on their young, impressionable psyche.
For instance, applications like Yik Yak, Kik Messenger, Snapchat, Omegle, in addition to your standard social networks like Facebook and Twitter, can be potentially dangerous. But, what’s scary about the aforementioned apps is that none of them, unlike Facebook or Twitter, have a strict policy about how users should act while they are using it, or the kind of content they post.
Snapchat, in particular, allows users to post pictures of themselves, which disappear after a short while. This means that your kids might be exposed to content that is both dangerous and inappropriate for their age.
Perhaps you should think about blocking certain apps which can be dangerous, or even installing one of the spy apps, which will allow you to monitor what kind of content they are viewing, who they come in contact with and even their call logs, and text messages. Apps like Mobile Spy or mSpy are definitely worth looking into. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially if it’s your child’s well-being that could be jeopardized.