Monday, June 17, 2013

Keep children safe by being aware of the 4C’s of risks children face online

Children constantly face cyber risks every time they go online. The degree of cyber risks to which individual children are exposed to varies from mild to severe.  In all there are four major categories of such risks namely content, conduct, contact and cybercrime; with content being the largest of all. 

Vulnerable or highly adventurous children normally face exposure to severe forms of cyber risks such as pedophiles. These children are sought out as targets due to their gullibility, ease of emotional exploitation or simply due to their interests in adult subjects. Most children who are affected by mild cyber risk have learned to cope, without much support. Vulnerable children who fall victim, display signs of anxiety, withdrawal from the Internet and may even not want to go to school for several weeks. These children require support from peers, family and teachers to bail them out of the situation they are in.
Parents should be able to determine when their children are exposed to cyber risks and to what extent they are vulnerable. Frequent conversations with their child on net use are the most popular method, practiced by over 75% of parents. When children report a problem, parents must be supportive.

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