While parents fret over how adults may use the internet – specifically social media – cell phone text messages and photo sharing to groom kids for child trafficking and other exploitation, results of a University of New Hampshire (UNH) study reveal that kids sometimes also solicit other kids, to share inappropriate content as well.
According to a study conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at UNH, when it comes to posting photos containing sexual content children are more likely to give in to pressure from
other kids than they are from adults.
As a result, California-based psychiatrist Gandhian Varanasi advises that parents never neglect to ask kids with whom they chat online or text on a regular basis.
Also, ask kids if they have ever been asked for personal information including their birth date, address, where they go to school or for similar and work information about their parents.
Not only does soliciting that information constitute a breach of personal privacy, but once obtained the information may be used for illegal purposes including identify theft or worse.
While parents are always encouraged to discuss cyber dangers with their kids, the use of cellphone apps should be part of a parent’s plan to keep their kids safe from harm.
“In this digital age where the world is, quite literally, at our fingertips, keeping children safe from risks may seem like an impossible task,” said Safety.com, an independent group that reviews child safe devices including baby monitors and car seats and other family-focused safety devices. “This is where safety apps come to our aid.”