The 7 Dangers Of The Internet For Children And Adolescents

How can the internet affect our children? What are the main risks of the Internet for children and adolescents? Discover the risks of the internet and how to face them.

Dangers of the Internet for children and adolescents

The Internet has caused a great change in society. This tool offers us many opportunities that we could not even imagine before. But at the same time that it provides us with a great space for knowledge and learning, there are many dangers of the internet for our mental health that we must face today.

There are many risks on the internet that make this a double-edged sword with benefits and disadvantages that must be analyzed and studied in depth, in order to adapt to this dizzying change and to be able to understand and address the problems that are already emerging such as addiction to networks, access to dangerous information. , scams, abuse, or cyberbullying, which although they rarely come to light, are more frequent than is believed.

The dangers of the internet for children and adolescents

One of the main dangers of the internet is that this space is a reflection of our society, that is, it is made up of individuals with virtues and defects. Most of the content is respectful and correct, but there are some that are not and are not suitable for certain audiences or for certain ages. There are relatively few risks for children, if we limit it well, but some more for adolescents, because they enter different areas, participate, give information, etc. The main Internet risks that endanger minors are the following.

  • View inappropriate material or content: One of the dangers on the internet It is easy access to violent, pornographic, racist, discriminatory, sect, etc. content. Minors are more influential to this type of content and therefore having easier access to it can wreak havoc on their personality or way of behaving towards others.
  • Threats, harassment: The use of certain news groups or bulletins may cause us to receive threatening or hostile messages, or simply material that is belligerent or committed to an idea, service, company, etc. Although one of the advantages of the Internet is precisely that it enables us to contact everyone, this is also one of the dangers of the internet more threatening to minors.
  • Cyberbullying: It is cyberbullying when the victim is a minor and the aggressor is a minor. In these cases, the danger on the net is to cause a level of harassment that ends up affecting the mental health of the child or adolescent. In these cases, parental attention to detect any signs is vital to put an end to it immediately.
  • Grooming: This is a type of cyberbullying in which the victim is a minor and the aggressor is an adult. In these cases, the risks on the internet They can go beyond the screens. So much so that the aggressor can use emotional blackmail to be able to get closer to the victim in reality.
  • Sextortion: One of the dangers of the internet The most feared is sextortion. This consists of sexual exploitation in which the victim is blackmailed through an image or video of herself with sexual content. And, what is sought with sextortion? Blackmail in exchange for sex. Images shared through sexting or stolen with computer viruses can be used.
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Main internet risks

  • Sexting: Sending images or videos of sexual content by young people. Generally recorded with the mobile phone. Sexting is one of the dangers on the net that can affect adolescents the most.
  • Isolation and depression: According to various studies, children or adolescents who spend too much time on the Internet can experience feelings of isolation and even depression. Therefore, it is vital to control the use and not only allow social contact through this tool.

These are some of the dangers of the internet that can most affect children and adolescents. So much so that on many occasions, these conditions must be consulted with a professional psychologist in order to be treated properly.

How to control the dangers of the Internet?

There are access limiting programs, filters, and privacy and labeling systems that can minimize the risk of suffering a compromised situation, but it is also important to remember that the tools do not replace parents or educators. We must therefore educate in awareness and the practice of good habits, get involved and know what and what do they use the internet for our children, talk and share experiences with them.

It is obvious that adolescents, like anyone today, need to have access to the Internet and also need privacy, but this does not inhibit us from our supervisory responsibility. We must find a balance between permissiveness and extreme prohibition.

The Internet is no different from reality, we must teach our children what they should not do and what they should do in certain situations. They themselves are the ones who can best protect themselves from any or all abuse. internet risks In general, the same rules that apply to everyday life can be transferred to the virtual world on the Internet.

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Basic rules for children to use the internet

How to minimize the dangers of the Internet?

The most effective way to prevent all the dangers that exist on the network It is precisely through the education of our children and minors. In this way, according to psychologists, we must highlight the following guidelines to avoid the risks of the Internet.

  1. Never give information that identifies you: The main key to avoid the dangers of the internet It is trying to be as anonymous as possible within the networks. In this way we should not give information with which someone can identify us, such as home address, school name, telephone number, etc.
  2. Know what they use it for: You must know the uses and applications that your children use, you must even know the time they spend on them. If you can’t tell, use the tools that let you know. If you consider it appropriate, there are means to limit access to certain content. It is vital to leave space for our children, but all while keeping in mind the dangers of social networks for children and adolescents
  3. Do not allow personal meetings: Do not allow personal meetings with other users without your consent, don’t forget that we never know who is behind an address or electronic pseudonym. If this situation occurs, you should accompany your child and ensure that the meeting is in a public place.
  4. Do not respond to inappropriate messages: In the chats of teenagers or children These can be found inappropriate messages. In these cases you should never respond to these types of chats and you should always be careful when receiving messages that are not appropriate.
  5. Respect the established rules: Discuss the basic rules of use with your children and keep them on hand near the computer as a reminder, especially those that remember the maximum time that can happen in front of the computer. How to avoid the dangers of the internet?
  6. Make the internet a family activity: Try to make the Internet a family activity Consider placing the computer in a room other than the children’s bedroom. Get to know your “virtual friends” the same way you get to know your real friends.
  7. Watch with tags: Beware of tagged Even if we have high privacy, someone we know may post a photo of us. We must always ask for respect for our image and do the same with that of others. Never post a photo in which another person appears without permission, much less if it could be compromised.
  8. Preach by example: We cannot ask our children to put down their cell phones if we ourselves are the first to be hooked all day. Schedules, times and access limits must be respected, these must be clear, firm and sufficient so they don’t become addicted.
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There are many advantages of the internet but this connection also implies many dangers on the internet that we cannot control. In this way, it is vital to educate our children in the same way as we would about the dangers that we may encounter on the street. The virtual world can carry the same risks as reality.