The stranger danger scare easily applies to a random creepy person your kid might run into on the street. Most kids know better than to go near them. But what happens when a friend — someone they’ve been opening up to for months, building a solid, trusting emotional relationship — wants to meet in real life? How does a parent deal with classmates who’ve created a group on social media dedicated solely to humiliating, embarrassing, and spreading rumors about their child?
This is where you’ll learn all the most recent information on internet safety for kids and the real scale of potential threats. We collected information from reputable sources: comparative studies with over 100,000 participants, government websites, child protective services, and cybersecurity companies. In addition, we examined all aspects of children’s online behavior, including smartphone ownership, time spent online, time spent on social networks, and positive as well as negative online experiences.
We took notice of the demographics: data on kids’, tweens’, and teens’ age, gender, and country, including the US, China, Brazil, and Italy. You’ll see detailed descriptions of kids’ exposure to the most common online threats, including cyberbullying, scams, adult content, and online predators.
We also listed just how aware both kids and parents are of issues like online safety for kids, cyberbullying, and children’s overall online presence. Do kids turn to their parents when they need help with online harassment? Do parents talk to their kids about how to stay safe online? Do they use parental control software? To what degree?
We conclude with some tips on staying safe on the internet. We also included tools and resources that can help you monitor and optimize your kids’ online behavior. We want to help them make the most of the internet without falling victim to its many pitfalls.
Top Child Safety Statistics To Takeaway
70% of kids encounter sexual or violent content online while doing homework research
17% of tweens (age 8-12) received an online message with photos or words that made them feel uncomfortable, only 7% of parents were aware of this
65% of 8-14 year-olds have been involved in a cyberbullying incident
36% of girls and 31% of boys have been bullied online
16% of high school students have considered suicide because of cyberbullying
75% of children would share personal information online in exchange for goods and services
How To Keep Kids Safe online Statistics
The Threat: How Can We Keep Children Safe from Online Predators?
1. 1 out of 7 children have sent messages with sexual content, while 1 in 4 admit they’ve received these kinds of messages.
A 2018 study came to these worrying conclusions. In 39 studies (with 110 ,380 participants), kids aged 11 to 17 were surveyed. A sext can include language, photos, or videos featuring sexual content. These kids’ unwitting decisions can ruin lives, and damage their self-esteem, even future career prospects. This is why they need to understand how to be safe on the internet.
Sometimes kids send pictures consensually, but after a breakup or a disagreement, a friend or a boyfriend can post them online. The aggressor’s motivation could be revenge, pettiness, jealousy, or even a minor disagreement. Once the explicit pics are on the web, users can download them, take screenshots, and forward them.
2. 20% of teenagers have sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves.
According to Guard Child, 26% of teenagers don’t believe that the person to whom they sent the pics will forward them to someone else. This trust is so complete that 15% of teens have sent or posted this objectionable content to someone they only knew online. A number of online friends can turn out to be adults, adults posing as kids, classmates, or ex-partners who end up harboring a grudge.
3. 11% of young teen girls aged 13–16 have sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves.
Kids as young as 13 are particularly vulnerable when it comes to outside influence. This includes strangers who’ve built a relationship with them over time, as well as their peers and classmates. Kids seek approval, and this need sometimes outweighs common sense. One of the main conversations you need to have with your kid, therefore, will start with the obvious question, “Why is internet safety important?” Explain the far-reaching consequences of their actions, and help them understand how to protect themselves.
4. The prevalence of forwarding a sext to others without consent is 12%, while only 8.4% of kids admitted someone forwarded a sext to them.
So much for trust, right? It turns out that peers and even adults posing as peers can ask for explicit pictures of teenagers and then forward them to others without their consent. If you care about how to keep your kids safe online and on their phones, you must consider this stat.
What’s worse, many kids don’t realize that this is illegal. According to the Department of Justice and Crime Prevention, “if a child aids, abets, induces, incites, instigates, instructs, commands, counsels, or procures another child to take and send such a photo of the latter to the first child or another person, he or she will be guilty of an offense.”
A conviction may lead to a hefty fine, but that’s not the worst part. In particularly nasty cases, a conviction might lead to imprisonment or even registration with the National Register for Sex Offenders. Sometimes, cyber safety for kids includes making sure your kid is neither the victim nor the aggressor.
5. Suicide is the second most common cause of death in adolescents aged 15–19.
Kids are in more danger of killing themselves than of dying of any sort of disease. The “deal with it” or “get over it” attitude can only take you so far. In fact, cyberbullying and harassment have conclusively been linked to depression. Regardless of your attitude, the numbers show that internet safety for kids should be on every parent’s mind.
According to a 2018 paper by Young Minds, young people who use social media are most vulnerable to a low sense of well-being, as well as symptoms of anxiety and depression. In 2012, 15-year-old Audrie Pott commit suicide after she had been sexually assaulted at a party eight days prior. The boys who assaulted her posted nude pictures of her online, and accompanied them with bullying and cyberbullying.
Her death was one of the tragedies that started an avalanche, making people around the US face the real danger of cyberbullying and address how to keep kids safe online. In 2016, a documentary titled Audrie and Daisy, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, detailing the experiences of Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman, a girl with similar experiences who lived.
If you, your friends, your child, or your friend’s child are experiencing any of the types of bullying or cyberbullying we’ve discussed, you can get support by calling a suicide hotline number or the national suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255) or by using their chat option, available 24/7 across the US. Trained, experienced individuals will offer compassion, advice, and useful resources.
6. Only 25% of the children who’ve received a sexual solicitation told a parent.
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, even though kids may place too much trust in peers and even strangers online, the same does not apply to parents. The fear of an overreaction, being blamed, or even something like having internet access taken away can stop kids from asking for help.
7. 20% of teens have met up with an online friend in person.
It’s important that your child knows how to stay safe on the internet. However, what happens when online dangers become a problem offline? Agreeing to meet a stranger can be a whole new level of dangerous.
8. A 2015 Pew Research Center report exploring friendship in the digital age conducted a survey involving kids aged 13 to 17. 57% have met a new friend online.
Considering this, it’s no wonder that at least some of them feel comfortable extending that friendship to their offline lives. Making sure you know who your kids are interacting with is certainly among our internet safety tips for raising teens.
9. 1 in 4 stalking victims also reported some form of cyberstalking, often taking place via email (83%) or instant messaging (35%).
People might check social media profiles of their crushes or employees, jokingly referring to this as cyberstalking. But this couldn’t be further from the real danger. Today, the United States has cyberstalking and cyberharassment legislature.
Did you know that the pictures you share online can be traced to your location, even if you don’t tag it on Facebook? Smartphone location services place a stamp that can be used by computer-savvy web users to find out where a kid is located. To prevent cyberstalking, consider using a VPN, a type of software that encrypts data traffic, making it difficult for others to access your data.
10. The time spent online by the average American has risen from 9.4 hours weekly in 2000 to 23.6 hours.
That’s almost 24 hours per week, an entire day. As more and more people spend their lives online, the web is becoming a perfect hunting ground for predators to find victims and cause harm. According to most cyberbullying facts, they often do so with impunity. The time spent surfing the web at home has increased from 3.3 to 17.6 hours a week. And that’s another disadvantage: the comfort of our own home used to shield people from predators. Today, as more and more of our daily activities become dependent on the internet—including work, paying the bills, and shopping—we’re running low on safe spaces.
11. Young people aged 16–24 spend an average of 34.3 hours a week on the internet.
Cyber victimization is usually associated with young people and children. Since this age group spends more time online than adult users, and is generally less experienced and often acts on impulse, they make for easier targets. The explosion of social media also plays a part.
12. Identity theft statistics indicate that minors who have experienced cyberbullying are 9 times more likely to be victims of identity fraud too.
Research by Javelin Strategy & Research revealed that more than 1 million children fell victims to identity fraud in 2017. These confirmed a direct correlation between cyberbullying and this type of criminal activity. The phenomenon behind this figure is called fraping. The term derives from “Facebook” and “rape,” and it refers to the act of logging into somebody’s social network account without their consent and then impersonating them online. They might post pictures and videos or like and comment on existing posts. Conversely, they can also remove certain posts, etc.
The Cyberbullying Threat
13. 34% of kids in the US have experienced cyberbullying at least once.
As cyberbullying facts like these imply, young internet users need a better understanding of what sort of behavior from their peers and others is inappropriate. And if this number seems high, you’ve got another thing coming: the National Crime Prevention Council concluded that the actual percentage is much higher, amounting to 43%. Kids seem to underestimate where they ought to draw the line. Lack of education on the subject is, therefore, one of the reasons people underreport cyberbullying.
14. About 25–30% of young people have admitted to experiencing or taking part in cyberbullying.
In a cyberbullying research study by the University of British Columbia, only 12% of the respondents were also involved in traditional bullying. According to the study, cyberbullying is a significant problem, often more damaging than traditional bullying. This figure doesn’t include the relatively innocent bystanders who witnessed attacks like threats, public embarrassment, or humiliation. But keep in mind, the number of witnesses adds to a victim’s anxiety. Even when a person disconnects from the internet, their reputation continues to be crushed behind their backs.
15. Only 1 in 10 young victims of cyberbullying will tell a parent or a trusted adult about their online abuse.
Kids and adolescents seem to think that the embarrassment of reporting internet bullying outweighs the help they can get if they come clean. With so few reported cases, we expect that reality is much worse than even the worrying stats we have on this subject. One indicator of just how helpless and alone victims feel is that only 7% of US parents are worried about cyberbullying.
16. Fewer than one-fifth of cyberbullying incidents have been reported to law enforcement.
Even though there’s no federal law on cyberbullying, there absolutely is one that covers cyberstalking. It stipulates the various ranges of imprisonment for anyone who uses electronic communications technology to engage in stalking. This includes conduct that places a person, an immediate family member, or a spouse or intimate partner in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury or “causes, attempts to cause, or would be reasonably expected to cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”
17. 95% of youths said their hurtful online behavior was only intended as a joke.
Only 5% of respondents engaged in cyber bullying to hurt people. This is another critical difference between online and offline bullying. Offline bullying involves a need for power and dominance, as well as aggression. It also tends to involve face-to-face interaction, even when spreading rumors and false accusations.
Technology as a mediator of cyberbullying desensitizes aggressors in a number of ways. They want to joke around, rather than display aggression. They also don’t get the chance to see the victims’ reaction, and potentially feel sympathy and stop.
18. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 14,000 of Massachusetts’s nearly 1 million K–12 students admitted they’d been bullied.
In light of these kinds of discoveries, there are talks of a bill that would require schools to teach the effects of cyberbullying in US schools. After all, there’s a stark contrast between the figure above and the 2,031 incidents that were actually reported in the 2017–18 school year. It’s hard to say how much of this number is due to students not reporting this type of bullying and how much of it is from schools pushing the problem under the rug. Either way, it’s vital to acknowledge that 12% of the CDC study’s respondents considered committing suicide as a result of the harassment.
19. When US teenagers are cyberbullied, this often includes offensive name calling (42%), spreading false rumors (32%), and receiving unwanted explicit images (25%).
The Pew Research Center provided these cyberbullying statistics after they surveyed 743 teens between the ages of 13 and 17, as well as 1,058 parents. Name calling and rumor spreading have been with us since the dawn of human civilization. In the case of marginalized individuals, however, comments based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability sometimes also qualify as a hate crime.
20. Adolescent girls are about twice as likely as boys to be both the victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.
A 2018 study from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, found that teenage girls are more likely to be the victims of cyberbullying. What’s worse, they are also more likely to develop emotional problems as a result of online attacks.
21. A whopping 64% of cyberbullying victims say that it “really affected their ability to learn and feel safe at school.”
This nationwide survey among 5,400 US teens should raise the alarm. Schools are supposed to be sanctuaries, where teachers sow the seeds of knowledge in the sprouting minds of our young ones. So it’s distressing when these cyberbullying statistics show just how many kids are bullied online during the most important years of their development.
22. Of those bullied in the last year, 37% developed social anxiety and 36% fell into depression.
What is cyberbullying doing to people’s mental health? A cyberbully cannot see the victim’s immediate reaction to the persistent, damaging content they dish out. However, bullied youth are forced to re-enter school, an offline environment, knowing they’d been shamed and humiliated online. This shift can generate mild to severe social anxiety.
Kids tend to exclude themselves from group activities to avoid the real-life shame of interacting with peers after their reputation is smeared. In the UK, teens have reported self-harm and anxiety and even developed eating disorders as a consequence of cyberbullying in schools. As many as 41% of teens say cyberbullying made them feel depressed.
23. High school girls of color make up 210 out of 1000 cyberbullying victims.
As many as 46% of women under 25 and 40% of women from a black or minority ethnic (BME) group claim they were bullied on Facebook at least once. Racism, chauvinism, and sexism are still at large on social media, according to the Cyberbullying Research Center. Persons of color have to put up with additional pressure while socializing on online platforms, a sadly accurate reflection of offline issues as well.
24. 42% of LGBTQ youth have experienced cyberbullying.
The so-called bias-based bullying is a huge problem for LGBTQ+ youth as well. These kids experience nearly three times as much cyberbullying and harassment their non-LGBTQ friends. And how can we begin to learn how to stop cyberbullying when even the adults refuse to help specific victims? According to GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), 63.5% of LGBTQ students have reported homophobic comments from teachers and school staff, the people who are supposed to set an example. It’s no wonder then that 63.5% of the LGBTQ students who did end up reporting homophobic incidents were met with inaction.
25. Cyberbullying makes young people more than twice as likely to commit self-harm or attempt suicide.
We’ve come to the bleakest cyberbullying facts. Researchers at three major universities—Oxford, Swansea, and Birmingham—joined forces to discover the true consequences of cyberbullying. They reviewed previous studies that involved more than 150,000 people under 25 across 30 countries over a 21-year period. They learned that cyberbullying increased the risk of self-harm, suicidal ideation, or suicidal behavior by 2.3 times.
26. Suicide is the second leading cause of death worldwide among people aged 15–29 years, making up 8% of all deaths.
Only the tenth leading cause of death in adults, suicide is a huge concern when it comes to young people. The act of publicly humiliating, stalking, mocking, or harassing young people into fitting in with dominant social norms amounts to putting out a fire with gasoline.
Cyberbullying and Social Media Safety
27. 38% of young people reported that social media has a negative impact on how they feel about themselves.
And that’s 38% in ideal circumstances, not counting the bullying. Only 23% of kids reported that social media has an overall positive impact on their lives, and 46% of girls stated that social networking damages their self-esteem.
28. 90% of teens who participate in social media have ignored the bullying they’ve witnessed.
Out of said 90%, a third have been victims of cyberbullying themselves. The grin and bear it attitude surrounding this phenomenon has led to many damaging consequences for kids and parents, even though cyberbullying can seem silly to a casual observer.
So what can be done when friends aren’t willing to help? Keep in mind that young people aged 16–24 spend an average of 34.3 hours a week on the internet. For teens, cyberbullying is a real problem. Their online presence is at least equally important as how they appear in real life. It should come as no surprise, then, that kids who’ve experienced cyberbullying can develop serious conditions, including anxiety and depression. Friendships are destroyed, and in some cases, leaked photos and videos can even cause long-term damage to a kid’s reputation as an adult.
29. More than 80% of kids who have mobile phones use social networking services.
This figure increases to 93% for children who have smartphones. A 2018 report from the Pew Research Center shows that teens agree that they spend too much time on social media and their mobile phones. Even 60% of kids from ages 13 to 17 think their time spent online is a “major” issue for them.
30. 95% of schools already impose some kind of restriction on mobile phones during the school day.
Every school implements its own internet safety practices. Some merely install parental control onto the school’s Wi-Fi, while others forbid mobile phone use during school hours altogether. Schools want to ensure that kids are safe from risks like cyberbullying, online grooming, and harmful content. Grooming stands for “when someone builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or trafficking.” Internet safety for elementary students and middle and high schoolers is important because along with making students safer, it also leaves them more focused on class.
31. There are 3.2 billion social media users at this time, and this number is growing.
Cyber bullying statistics from 2019 indicate that 42% of the current world population uses at least one social media account. With this number growing at breakneck speed, some sort of social media etiquette is required ASAP. There are some attempts from major corporations like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to limit negative comments and abusive behavior, but are they doing enough? How are they handling social media bullying? Once a bully is reported, how do they react?
32. In 2018, US cyberbullying victims were predominantly on the following platforms: Facebook (56%), Twitter (19%), YouTube (17%), Instagram (16%), online gaming (14%), and WhatsApp (13%).
The December 2018 survey found that 53% of internet users had personally experienced some kind of online harassment. And a staggering 37% reported they’d suffered drastic types of online harassment, such as threatening messages, sexual harassment, and cyberstalking.
33. 75% of children who use social platforms say they believe these services support friendships and close relationships.
There’s a reason people enjoy spending so much time on social networks. The online community can be an accepting, thrilling, and exciting place. You can catch up with the latest trends in the entertainment industry, check out your friends’ holiday pics, and even express your political opinions. In the world wide web, as in life, a community can be welcoming and affirming, and the feeling of acceptance and approval is something people get hooked on, regardless of their age. Statistics on cyberbullying indicate that these very advantages contribute to just how bad people feel once someone shatters the image and social reputation they’d been building for years.
34. 39% of kids fail to enable their privacy settings on social media.
In addition, three-quarters of the kids on social media are below the age limit that allows them to open an account, a survey by the BBC’s news program for children, Newsround, has found. This information ties in closely with cyberbullying stats, as kids aged 10–12 are even less able to take the proper security measures and protect themselves.
35. As many as 39% of social network users have been cyberbullied to some extent, whereas 22% of teens online who don’t use social networks have been a victim.
It appears that traditional bullying and cyberbullying are interconnected. Kids who don’t have social media accounts are less likely to be bullied in general. And kids who get bullied offline are often persecuted online as well. Still, not having a social media account excludes kids from several peer activities, and not many people are likely to give social media up.
36. 54% of surveyed users said they distrusted Facebook’s ability to deal with online harassment compassionately.
As cyberbullying statistics show, even people who try and report cyber violence are ignored or their complaints are underestimated. In fact, 72% of people surveyed claimed that it took several moderators to handle complaints. As underreported as cyberbullying is, the fact that even those who pluck up the courage to come forward are met with this treatment is discouraging.
37. More than 70% of teens say that blocking the perpetrator’s account is the most effective method to maintain internet safety.
Most people refuse to rely on the channels provided by social networking companies when it comes to managing online bullying. Instead, they take it upon themselves to handle things. The research conducted among American teens shows that they believe blocking an aggressor is enough. A teen will also consider asking the bully to stop bothering them or telling a friend before notifying a parent or guardian.
38. According to a 2018 survey, 58% of parents check which websites their teens visit, and look through their kids’ call records and messages.
While most parents resort to checking kids’ online behavior manually, 52% also use software as the best way to handle internet safety for kids, which restricts which websites the child can visit. Age plays a big part here: 72% of parents of 13- to 14-year-olds look through their child’s cell phone, compared to 48% of parents of teens aged 15 to 17.
39. Only 25% of teens socialize with friends in person on a daily basis outside of school.
This stat highlights the significance of online communication more than any other. In their free time, kids choose to communicate online, which is why online representation is so important to them. Learning how to keep kids safe online becomes vital when you see that this is their primary channel for seeking connection, affection, approval, and validation.
40. 16% of boy gamers (13–17) play in person with friends on a daily or near-daily basis, and an additional 35% do so weekly.
With gamer kids, the stats are even worse. Their self-esteem and happiness levels tend to be based on gaming skills. Internet games for kids and adults alike can become a problem for particularly vulnerable teens. That’s why ganking (a big group of players teaming up on one lone player) is sometimes categorized as a type of online bullying.
41. 88% of teens online believe people share too much information about themselves on social media.
Pics or it didn’t happen, right? According to a 2018 article by Net Nanny, 10 of the most dangerous teen chat sites—like Kik, Snapchat, Ask.fm, Whisper, and Blendr—can easily bypass parental controls. On Kik, kids can exchange messages parents can’t see, and it’s also very difficult to confirm the participants’ identities.
Snapchat allows users to determine when messages they send will self-destruct, leaving an illusion of anonymity. Screenshots take care of that, of course, proving once more that everything posted online stays online forever.
Among these teenage chatting sites, Ask.fm is so scary that the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, urged parents to ban the app. There are no age restrictions, and groups are formed based on GPS location, a serious liability since potential predators can easily learn a kid’s location.
42. 18% of kids aged 1–7 have social media profiles.
This is another big reason to consider instituting some online safety rules. After all, the age limit for creating an account on Facebook and Instagram is 13. SnapChat users aged under 13 are redirected to Snapkidz. The minimum age for the mobile phone messaging app WhatsApp is 16 years old.
There are a few ways that you can manage what your kids are doing online. First and foremost, a family password manager is a good idea. You can make an account for your child on any platform they regularly visit and then enable restricted mode on all the devices they use. All passwords will be known to you, and you’ll be able to keep them and yourself safe from potential breaches.
43. Around three-quarters of kids 12–15 years old are aware of online reporting functions, and 1 in 8 who go online have used one to report something that bothered them.
Bystander apathy seems to extend to the internet. For those unfamiliar, it’s a social and psychological phenomenon where people are less likely to help a victim when other individuals are present.
44. 17% of children aged 12–15 admitted to accidentally spending money online—almost double the percentage from 2017 (9%).
A 2018 Ofcom report came up with these surprising results. Parents who don’t want to lose money obviously need to provide a sort of kids’ guide to the internet. It’s a fast way to ensure that if a child blows through their money on trivialities, at least it’s on purpose. Provided that these kids weren’t lying about the accidental nature of their actions, it’s surprising that they seem to know less about the way online purchases work.
45. 45% of kids aged 3–4 use YouTube. 80% use it to watch cartoons, and 40% watch funny videos and pranks.
On the other hand, 70% of kids aged 5–7 use YouTube, and 4% have social media profiles. Here’s a good reason to set something up like Google safe search for kids (but more on that in the next stat).
If you leave your child alone with a mobile device and just let the videos go on shuffle, they can easily be exposed to many violent, frightening, and otherwise damaging videos and images. Downloading a free adblock program would be a good way to solve this. You should also provide reliable android virus protection or get virus protection for any iPhone device that your kid might use. After all, kids are more likely to unknowingly click on malware or phishing emails than you are.
46. About 8 in 10 parents of 3–15-year-olds online knew about at least 1 of the 6 content filtering tools they were surveyed about. And more than half of parents of 3–4-year-olds (56%) and 5–15-year-olds (59%) used at least one of them.
A website content filter is designed to reduce recreational internet use and restrict access to content that would be deemed objectionable by a parent, school, or enterprise. A web filter blocks pages from websites that are likely to include objectionable advertising, malware, viruses, and pornographic content. While it’s good that so many parents know about these programs, their use could be even more widespread.
The best free internet filter you can use is Qustodio Free. It may be aimed at Windows, but it’s also available for Mac, Android, iOS, Kindle, and (weirdly) Nook. Windows Live Family Safety and Open DNS FamilyShield are more family-oriented and will block domains on your whole home network. If you want to generate only cherry-picked, safe results, Kiddle is probably the best kids’ search engine for you.
47. 19% of parents had no idea whether or not their kids had SnapChat accounts.
In addition, 22% of parents were aware that their children had a Twitter account. Cyberbullying can become an issue on any social media website. Because of this, not knowing if your kid has a SnapChat account—or any social media account—can be a problem.
48. 59.68% of parental control notifications were triggered by children visiting online communication sites.
All the more reason why social media safety for teens is an issue you ought to take seriously. It seems like no stat was actually needed to let you know your kid spends all of their time on Instagram and SnapChat.
49. 22.4% of parental control notifications were triggered by children’s software, video, or audio consumption.
Images or videos featuring alcohol, tobacco, or narcotics triggered 6.32% of the parental control notifications. And kids’ computer games triggered 4.99% of parental control notifications.
How to Keep Kids Safe
Get the best parental control app for your phone: these options include Qustodio, NetNanny, Symantec Norton Family Premier, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Circle with Disney, Clean Router, and Mobicop.
There are also computer monitoring and parental control software options. These include K9 Web Protection, Qustodio, Family Time, Windows Live Family Safety, Norton Online Family, NetNanny, and Kidlogger.
If you’re looking for Google parental controls, Family Link allows parents to set screen time limits, lock devices when it’s time for a break, approve or block apps downloaded from the Play Store, and locate their kids through their devices. Technically, it’s available to anyone with an existing Google account.
And finally, there is also an Android parental control option: When you turn on parental controls, you can restrict what content can be downloaded or purchased from Google Play based on maturity level. For family members who manage their own accounts, parental controls only apply to the Android device you add them onto. For family members whose accounts are managed with Family Link, you can set up parental controls on your child’s Google Account.
Take a moment to read and understand the kinds of threats children face on the internet:
There’s really no official categorization of cyberbullying, so we chose to rely on legislation to come up with the following five examples. It’s implied that none of these actions were performed with the victim’s consent.
- Harassment: Threatening or abusive messages are sent in a sustained, repeated, and intentional way.
- Outing: This is a deliberate act meant to publicly humiliate a person by posting embarrassing, sensitive, or private photos.
- Fraping: This occurs when a cyberbully logs into a person’s account and impersonates them, posting comments, photos, and/or videos to cause emotional harm.
- Cyberstalking: The official cyberstalking definition varies from state to state. Often a criminal offense, this behavior involves stalking a victim via online platforms and using the collected information to bother them and cause harm. It’s often accompanied by offline stalking.
- Catfishing: This is when a person creates a fake social media presence or a fake identity intended to deceive, manipulate, and harm a specific person.
Helping Children Keep Themselves Safe
How do you explain internet safety to a child? Conversations between kids and parents need to include some ground rules: Don’t give away private information about either yourself or your family. Do not send, download, or forward explicit photos, texts, or videos of either yourself or other kids. Report a bully to the page administrator, a parent, or an authority at your school. And most of all, be open in your parent-child communication. In the long run, it’s better for you and your kids when they can trust you, not fear you, so that you can work together if something ever does go wrong online.
Internet safety tips for kids:
1. Don’t lie about your age.
2. Avoid private forums and chat rooms that require an email address, home address, or phone number.
3. Don’t ever give out your own or your family’s personal information.
4. Create strong passwords and update them regularly.
5. Don’t accept strangers’ friend requests, don’t add strangers, don’t chat with strangers, and never make emotional connections with them.
6. Set the privacy settings on your media accounts, make sure your profile details are only visible to friends.
7. Never share personal photographs or videos, and never engage in sexting. Everything that happens on the internet stays on the internet forever.
8. Disable location services.
9. Only purchase items from reputable websites.
10. Most of all, block anybody who makes you feel uncomfortable. Report them to your parents, teachers, or even the authorities.
How to prevent cyberbullying?
Teach your kids about cyberbullying, outing, cyberstalking, and bullying. Let them know how malicious behavior can affect them before anything happens. Know what’s happening in your child’s life, who their friends are, and what sort of relationships they have. The data shows that cyberbullying is more likely to come from friends.
How to deal with sextortion?
Never send nude photos to anyone, regardless of your relationship. This is the safest bet, and it leaves potential aggressors with few options. To be clear, neither a child nor an adult is to blame if a perpetrator attempts to blackmail them using compromising information, photos, or videos. The aggressor is to blame for abusing their trust or hacking into their accounts. Damage control is easier, however, if the bullies have nothing to work with.
How to report cyberbullying?
Start by blocking the bully and reporting them to your service providers. Then, you can notify the school, if relevant, of the damaging behavior. Once this is over, consider filing an official report to the police, with regards to the victim’s plans and wishes. Consider meetings with the school counselor or a psychologist to assess the emotional damage and propose solutions.
Don’t forget to investigate the laws in your state before going to the school or the police. Federal law allows schools to discipline students for off-campus behavior that resulted in a major disruption of the learning environment at school, and this can apply to cyberbullying.
We hope the cyberbullying statistics on this page helped you understand the risks of modern online life and how you can protect your children.