Inappropriate exposure is one of the biggest risks faced by kids online – with the variety of content out there and readily available to them, they have access to almost anything, whether they seek it on purpose or encounter it by mistake. And with children spending more and more time online than ever before, the risk that they will be exposed to explicit or inappropriate content naturally increases.
Inappropriate content could be violent, vulgar, sexual, adult-themed, taboo, or simply not age-appropriate, including:
- Sexual grooming and solicitation
- Online stalking
- Online strangers
- Inappropriate photographs
- Nudes and selfies
- Pornography (much of which is far more deviant than ever before)
This content can be accessed deliberately, or simply pop up on photo and video sharing apps, social networks, in games, by clicking on innocent-looking links or simply entering an ambiguous or misspelled search term. Basically, as soon as your child is able to use a search engine or watch a video on YouTube, there’s a good chance they will stumble across some inappropriate content.
It’s enough to make a care-giver want to switch off the Wi-Fi forever!
But we simply can’t keep our children offline. Rather, we need to be vigilant about protecting our children to the best of our ability – monitoring and filtering internet use and educating our children in a non-judgmental way about how to stay safe online and what the dangers are of accessing and sharing inappropriate content.
In this section of the website, we’ll cover different types of inappropriate content, and how to broach the sometimes uncomfortable topic with the children in your care. We’ll look at different ways of protecting them online, such as installing filters, teaching them what to do when they encounter inappropriate content, setting boundaries, and instilling responsible online behaviour.
This is a conversation that you need to keep going with your children, so keep referring back to these articles for more tips and tools to prevent inappropriate exposure to undesirable content on the powerful, influential World Wide Web.