Real risks of social networks for children and adolescents

The development of technology and its advancement in communication and information offers a host of opportunities for all of society. From seniors, professionals, housewives, students, even the little ones have access to information and entertainment.

Using mobile or fixed devices and from anywhere they are, people have access to all information, either through the Internet or the ever-growing social networks.

Nevertheless, as everything good has its dark side, The Internet and all the possibilities of connection with the outside world have risks, especially for groups of school-age children and adolescents.

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An attractive profile

The curiosity of children and adolescents, as well as their innocence and naivety in the face of the real world are precisely the elements or weak points that many adults with bad intentions take advantage of to commit a series of actions to the detriment of these social groups.

The risks in social networks is a topic that has been noticed since the appearance of the first chats, in the distant 90’s, when applications for computers were used icq (I seek you), in Spanish “I look for you”, the first instant messaging used on the Internet.

Later the countless social networks that we have been getting to know emerged and through which the exchange of photos, videos and files of any kind is possible.

This rapid growth has also increased social media risks. in the groups of minors, adolescents and children.

The role of parents and the school is crucial to avoid or minimize abuse that are committed against children, even using appropriate devices, because around the corner comes any mechanism that can circumvent those controls that they implement.

Rules for use and abuse

  • The first thing that should be considered, taking into account that children at an increasingly early age demand access to social networks, it’s common sense and good sense. This can only be applied by adults, based on the need to monitor children’s performance on the Internet.
  • On many occasions and without realizing it, due to the comfort of having a child connected all day in front of the computer represents for parents, addiction is being created.
  • This undoubtedly has consequences in the short, medium and long term, since the child’s brain is being immediately reconfigured. In addition, it takes him away from reality, his environment and the real life that takes place around him.
  • Parents should have rules for using the Internet; Although it is a tool that facilitates school work, it also it is an object of distraction and an easy way to access entertainment, leaving aside schoolwork.
  • It is best to establish schedules and rules of use, after enjoying entertainment and leisure, direct attention to educational, informational and training content.
  • One of the observation and surveillance mechanisms is parental control, which consists of a series of filters and tools that protect children and adolescents from disturbing, threatening and inappropriate content.
  • There are many devices of this type that can be installed on mobiles and tablets and whose purpose is to prevent access to inappropriate content for children and to keep them away from risks on social networks.
  • What’s more, have the option of limiting the time of Internet connection, and with this of social networks and other sites that represent danger.
  • Yes OK social networks alone are harmless, The handling that many adults give to these are those that mark the way of right or wrong, and determine the risks in social networks.
  • With the filters of the Parental control you can follow the path that the child did in his Internet search and the sites visited.
  • Likewise, they show which are the pages whose contents are not suitable for the safety of minors, because they are a real risk on social media.
  • They serve so children and adolescents are kept in a safe environment and that they continue to use technology but without it representing any danger, which guarantees peace of mind for them and their parents.
  • Most of the parental control filters are completely free to download and they offer free versions to install as tests.

Filters and devices apart, the best that can be in a family is the agreement that its members reach regarding the use of the Internet in order to avoid risks in social networks.

What are the most common risks on social media?

There are really many risks in social networks that children and adolescents face, starting with inappropriate content, which is not necessarily aimed at this audience.

However, the child can access it unconsciously, which can mean the deterioration of the values ​​instilled at home and at school.

In addition, Using the interactive or socializing spaces, children can get away from their parents or adult siblings and seek to have different experiences. This with the idea of ​​feeling older, or even inventing another personality that responds to the demands of the person with whom you interact.

The best way to minimize risks on social media is by increasing and improving outreach to children to establish guidelines for use, always under the supervision of a conscious adult.

There is a long list of risks in social networks that children and adolescents face, and that have been defined and characterized, among which are:

  • Cyber ​​bullying
  • Grooming
  • Sexting
  • Disclosure of information
  • Exposure to harmful and inappropriate content
  • Sexual exploitation of girls, boys and adolescents
  • Happy slapping / Happy slapping
  • Publication of private information
  • Sextortion

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