Your Child Is Only As Safe As Their Friends

After taking every bit of training that Online Kid Cop provides to parents along with other sources, it would be easy to think parents have completely protected their children from most online dangers. The fact is they have not. Even with the most effective training, common dangerous mistakes can be eliminated which provides an amazing sense of security with one exception – their friends.

Unfortunately, many parents either do not have the technical knowledge to provide adequate protection from danger, or choose to not to protect their children online. So, the million dollar question is what do you get when you combine a safe online child with a child who has an open online profile? The answer is frightening simple – two very exposed children. Children have a natural desire for curiosity and want their fiends to like them. Setting guidelines and rules for your child’s online safety provides your child with the tools they need to insist their friends adhere to the same rules while in their presence or when pictures and/or videos posted. By allowing your child to be around another who does not exercise the same precautions, only exposes your child to a greater depth to the dangers online. For example, say your child has a few friends over to stay the night. While having fun, one of those friends takes a picture and posts it online to a social media site and tags the location where he or she is. Your child’s location and privacy has now been exposed to possible danger.

The logical next question on parents minds now would be how to stop this. There are a few ways:

  1. Make sure your child is aware of the dangers of their friends posts.
  2. Reiterate to your child he or she has the right to “opt out” of being in pictures or posts if their friends will not follow the same rules.
  3. Friend or follow your child’s friends on social media sites. This is a good way to evaluate the general behavior of a friend, but keep in mind it does have some restrictions mainly there are tons of social media and/or networking sites and would be impossible to monitor all of them.
  4. Do searches with hashtags (#) that might be of interest to your child. This could reveal posts which contain him or her that either they were not aware of or, even more importantly, they did not think you would find.
  5. Do not be afraid to contact a parent of your child’s friend if he or she is not willing to remove your child from a post or is engaging in potentially dangerous behaviors.

All of us as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, and friends need to be on the frontline of our children’s safety. While working as a cohesive team, we can help make our kids a safer in this ever changing technology driven world.