Children can be the biggest threat to other children's safety online, as well as their own. Set good ground rules in place so that your children understand and are aware of the consequences.
Setting Ground Rules That Children Need To Know About Social Media
Children can be the biggest threat to other children's safety online, as well as their own. Talk to your children and put some ground rules in place so that your children understand and are aware of theirs and their peers consequences.
Many children and young people are avid users of social media and mobile devices. While many use these technologies to stay in touch with friends and family, there are some who misuse them to harm others. It is crucial young people be aware of their responsibilities when using social media and mobile devices, to avoid being a victim, or an offender.
Bullying And Harassment
Cyberbullying can include posting hurtful messages or images, sending repeated unwanted messages, excluding someone from an online group, or creating false social-networking profiles.
The main difference between cyberbullying and other forms of bullying is that cyberbullying can occur 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. It can be seen by a large invisible audience, and once shared online cannot be deleted. For these reasons, cyberbullying can often be more harmful to the health and wellbeing of both those bullying and those being bullied than other forms of bullying.
Many young people like to share photos through social media or mobile devices. However, sharing explicit photos using these media (sometimes referred to as 'sexting') can be considered creation and transmission of child pornography. Child pornography relates to any image or depiction of someone under the age of 18 in a sexualised pose, engaged in a sexual act, or in the presence of others engaged in a sexual act.
Most social media networks have a minimum registration age of 13 years. This is due to a US law that prohibits collecting the personal information of children under 13 without parental consent. It is not a crime for children under 13 to use these networks, but it is a violation of terms and conditions. Children who lie about their age to access these networks can also be vulnerable to contact from predators.
Online 'grooming' is when an adult makes contact with someone under the age of 16 with the intention of establishing a sexual relationship. Some offenders will pretend to be another young person or will admit to being much older than the child, but can manipulate them into thinking such a relationship is normal
Knowing The Rules
Young people may not be aware their digital actions can be traced and can have legal consequences. They may feel distanced from their actions and the impacts they can have on others, and may not be fully aware how serious and harmful their actions can be. Young people may not fully understand their legal responsibilities, but they understand the difference between right and wrong, and this should guide their behaviour.
Knowing the rules is important, but just like a driving a car, there are many other steps users need to take to make safe and considerate choices. Just as we need to wear a seat belt and anticipate the actions of other drivers on the road, so too do we need to think before we post, and avoid contact with those who use technology to harm others.