With three children of her own, our esteemed dentist at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Jodi Wright, understands the risks of social media when it comes to kids and their safety. Asking kids to avoid social media and the internet is likely to fall on deaf ears, but rather than turn a blind eye to their actions, parents should take time to discuss these online precautions with them.
Internet Privacy and Anonymity Don’t Exist
About half of internet users post to social media sites and interact with others under false or anonymous names, but they still aren’t necessarily protected from being identified by a persistent entity. Posts can easily be traced back to the originating source, which in the case of kids, is likely via smartphones equipped with tracking devices. This is one reason why it’s so important for parents to warn children against posting personal details such as their school, travel plans, personal numbers and identifying photos of themselves or the home.
Scammers are Everywhere
Make kids aware that cyberspace has become an easy place for scammers to pull off their trade, and young people are a likely target. For example, children who play video games online are especially vulnerable, as scammers often place virus codes into fake games and lure viewers to download them. This can result in having the computer owner’s identity, financial information and much more compromised through cybercrime identity theft. However, scammers await on social media outlets, and many posters aren't who they say they are. Warn kids on how to spot game and social media scams, and request they ask before downloading anything online.
Yes, it will be an awkward conversation for some, but it’s an essential one to have. Approaching this talk (like the birds and bees talk) should be relevant to their age first and foremost, as teens will have more knowledge than younger counterparts. Sexting photos, videos, and racy messages is risky, as these threads and posts can be easily shared publicly by malicious individuals. Another reason for discouraging sexting of any nature is due to the next tip.
Internet Posts are Forever Yours
Tweens and teens are a large part of social media demographics, so they need to know that anything and everything they post will live forever — even once it has been remotely deleted. Photos, status updates, videos, messages, etc. are truly never gone forever once they hit cyberspace. Show your kids how easy it is to screenshot and save posts while explaining how these can come back to haunt them in time. Today, it’s not unusual for colleges, employers, and even friends to come across posts that could spell long-term consequences for posters of all ages. Give kiddos the heads up.
Looking for a Passionate Pediatric Dentist in Springboro?
Look no further than Dr. Jodi Wright and her team of experienced eye professionals in Springboro. Contact Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry online or call our office at 937-885-2222 to schedule an appointment.