Parenting technology worries

parenting tech worries

parenting tech worries

I was recently asked to be involved with a study about the worries that parents have when it comes to their children and technology. The results have been collated by My Voucher Codes and ultimately the majority of most parents are most worried about cyber bullying as well as their children accessing adult content or sharing inappropriate images.

While that of course bothers me I think for me the most frightening thing is the possibility of one of my children being groomed online. A few years ago now when Holly was in Year 7 she made a fun video with some friends from school, just her and her friends messing about singing and dancing and chatting to the camera. At the end of the film they each said their name and we go to XXX school in XXX. She then shared it on YouTube.

I had absolutely no idea until the next day when Holly (thank goodness) came to me and told me that she’d had a message. The message said

”Hi Holly, I love your video you and your friends are so fun. Maybe next time you could make a video, just you, in your school uniform and send it to me?”

The username of the person who had sent her the message was obscene and it really really frightened Holly. Enough for her to come and tell me about it. She was crying her eyes out and couldn’t believe she had said her name and where she went to school. I felt probably the most sick I’ve ever felt in my life. I also felt that I’d let my daughter down and that I should have prepared her for this sort of thing. To be honest I had no idea that she even knew how to upload a video to YouTube and really underestimated the internet savvyness that children have these days. The video was taken down immediately and I reported it to the school, Holly wasn’t allowed outside of the gates on her own, I also reported it to the police who referred me to CEOP.

It was absolutely awful and thankfully nothing ever came from it but the whole experience made me take a look at how I protect the children when it comes to the internet and prompted me to attend a workshop that promotes safe internet use for young people. Some of the safety measures that we implemented are parental controls to block adult content and also sitting down and having a chat with the children and making sure they knew they could come and talk to us about anything that might be worrying them.

Some of the statistics from the findings are detailed below and are discussed in detail at The Tech Lounge.

  •  Online bullying – 58% Extremely Worried
  • Accessing adult content such as porn, swearing, nudity, sex and violence – 49% Extremely Worried
  • Sharing inappropriate images – 49% Extremely Worried
  • Grooming – 48% Concerned
  • Access to extremism – 44% Concerned
  • Addiction to social media – 57% Concerned
  • Effects on Education – 66% Concerned
  • Privacy – 55% Concerned
  • Effect on long term health – 49% Concerned
  • Running up huge bills. – 65% Not at all Worried

Let me know what you think. Have you implemented internet safety measures and what would worry you the most?

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Comments

  • lavinia

    Written on 2nd March 2015

    Reply

    You must have been so frightened! My biggest worry is inappropriate content. I once google searched “bishop” so I could explain to my son what a bishop is. All I got was child sex abuse scandals…tg he wasn’t able to read yet! He’s 5 now and beginning to use the laptop himself. I’ve set up parental controls but youtube worries me…it’s a great resource…but ALOT of inappropriate things there too.

    • Amy

      Written on 2nd March 2015

      Reply

      It was absolutely terrifying. Gosh, it’s crazy what comes up in internet searches isn’t it? Definitely something to safe guard against although I guess sometimes it’s inevitable that things we don’t want them to see will pop up x

  • christina

    Written on 26th March 2015

    Reply

    It is very worrisome. We did a post ourselves a couple of weeks ago on the topic. We regularly monitor the phone/technology but as we discussed in our post there are always things being created that we cannot monitor (snapchat, vine, instagram msgs) and that is very concerning. Thank you for your perspective!
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    • Amy

      Written on 26th March 2015

      Reply

      Thanks Christina, you’ve hit the nail on the head here; the problem is the ever-changing technology that just moves too fast. I guess the most we can do is be aware ourselves and make the children aware of the possible dangers too. x

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