It is time to dust back old school supplies and hurry off to the malls to grab hold of the latest backpacks as we are kick starting the new school year! While kids are worried about having new stationary and shoes, parents are having a whole list of worries to fumble over with.
My question is, parents are you really prepared for what’s about to come?
You are spending tons of money and time figuring out the most comfortable shoes and easy to carry back-packs your children will use for approximately 8 hours, but have you really thought through about the safety of the mobile devices your kids will use over 16 hours a day?
Here is why you should be concerned, even if you aren’t.
Children tend to hide their problems from parents, and the age our kids are at, they are incapable of handling adverse situations by themselves, normally which results in further complications of problems.
I mean seriously speaking my 12-year old couldn’t figure out whether she wanted a trolley bag or a rucksack and came clambering onto me for the decision, so how can I expect her to deal with more important things all by her own?
Considering this 17.2% of careful parents already use parental control apps for kids safety.
Cyberbullying – What you need to know?
Cyber bullying is online harassment and it comes in many forms. Kids nowadays bully each other using electrical means like smartphones, the days when kids would physically beat each other up and dunk each other’s heads down toilets or yelp around in pain after wedgies are dead and gone with access to the internet becoming more common and the confidence of bullying behind screen increasing.
92% of teens report going online daily, including 24% who admit to be online almost constantly. More than 40% of all teenagers with Internet access have reported being bullied online during the past year.
What’s most alarming is the fact that only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber bully victim, so the chances of you being completely unaware of what your kid is going through are EXTREMELY high!
Sexting – The craze?
The increase in sexting has resulted in many compromising photos of teens being circulated online, used to blackmail and humiliate the victim. 20% of teens have sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves.
39% of teens have sent sexually suggestive messages via text, email or instant messaging.
Any leaks in sexting content cause decreased self-confidence and increased social awkwardness in a teen’s life. About 2 in 5 teens say they tell their parents very little or nothing about what they do online.
Are you still sure your child is 100% secured? I am pretty sure you’re getting the jitters right now while reading this.
How can I secure my child?
There are several ways that have been highlighted to protect your child online, the press release states a few points to be followed.
You as parents need to ensure that your child knows your phone number, address, how to get in touch with you at work or any other place at any specific time, as well how to get in touch with another trusted adult and to contact 9-1-1.
You must ensure that your child understands that he is not supposed to talk to any strangers or accept any rides from them.
Your back to school checklist!
Here are some steps to follow to try having your child all set for the back to school blues!
Communicate with your child - Tell them the harms of excessive social media use and how dangerous disclosing personal information or photos can be. Nothing that is online is safe or your child’s personal property and they need to be aware of sending personal material and information online.
Keep track of them – Tell your child that you will be keeping a track of their mobile phone and tell them why this is absolutely necessary, encourage them to let you in confidence of their passwords so that it is easier for you to monitor their activities and it will create an understanding between your child and you.
Use wearable watches – There are many Android and Apple watches available now with GPS support which can be used to locate the child’s position and movement by GPS tracking.
Your may consider wearable smartwatches for your child safety and they wear it around to get the oomph factor in their friends’ circle!
Parental control apps – Use an internet filter or monitoring app to have access to all your child’s online activities, even if they try deleting the content from their phone, you can have access to it online as the app saves everything in a database.
This should be done even if the kid is using a phone for the first time, as you never really know what they get into in the fresh excitement of having social media access.
How I secured my children online?
I tried reasoning with my kids, but Oh lord! I sure raised some stubborn humbugs I tell you. Like most teens at this stage, they think they are in control of everything and did not want my guidance in any matters related to their online habits.
Resources for Parents
As talking surely didn’t work out, I went on and after some intense research came across Qustodio and mSpy as the leading parental control apps by parents choice on the market. I installed mSpy on my kid’s phone and used an online password and user id to monitor all his activities from my laptop computer.
Both Qustodio and mSpy offer a FREE trial for a limited period that would help you to choose according to your monitoring needs.
Easy to use and highly reliable, mSpy helped me secure my children online activity and gave me a peace of mind, and I am now all set for school.
BACKPACKS? Check. BOOKS? Check. Cell phones? SECURED!