From the early 2000’s to now we’ve watched technology grow abundantly and become more accessible, especially for our children. We’ve watched as young kids have transitioned from playing manhunt with their friends to spending hours upon hours on computers. Researchers believe that our teens spend around 9 hours on the internet a day. With all that time spent on the internet, students may be at higher-risk for danger. Here is a list of 5 covert online activities that accessible to your kids.
Use anonymous proxy sites:
Proxy sites allow kids to circumvent the parental controls or web filtering* set up on their network. The danger is not in the proxy site itself, but in the untraceable sites, they can get to by using an anonymous proxy website. Schools don’t keep the browsing history of children, making holding kids accountable for their action more difficult. If something goes dangerously wrong, it is difficult to keep a paper trail to remedy the situation. Using a proxy, a child can access any site they want, including porn, the blue whale game, and drugs.
It is easy to associate the danger of young people accessing VPN networks, including looking at inappropriate images and websites. Most importantly, it distracts students from learning. Students are spending time and energy working to get to the sites that they are blocked from, and unfortunately, the students are savvy enough to use VPNs to get to their applications. Though they may not be in direct danger by accessing Snapchat, it could lead to distractions and bullying.
Many people understand the deep dark web, but few understand the dangers when you access it. Illegal activity is widespread throughout the hidden internet. It is a place where one can hire a hitman or a prostitute, but most common among students is purchasing large amounts of illegal drugs. The drugs itself is not the only danger in this situation; students are handing over personal information to criminals.
Anonymous chats have always been a threat to children, but as technology has evolved it has become easier for predators to contact our kids. Most applications have chatting functions now, and some don’t require a “friendship” to engage in chats. A seven-year-old girl in Wisconsin was on a popular music app that lets you create music videos when a man claiming to be a nine-year-old boy asked her to send pictures of herself without clothes on. Children as young as five are smart enough to use devices that can lead them directly to predators.
The phenomenon of catfishing has been more and more common and more and more disturbing in recent years. Catfishing is not only a way for children to become vulnerable to predators, but also a way for children to get in trouble in other ways. Students in North Carolina were arrested earlier this year because they were able to catfish a French teacher into sending them inappropriate images. They released these images to the public and were arrested on charges of disclosing private images. The dangers of catfishing are real and they are widespread.
While the dangers of the internet are real and in most cases understood by adults, they can deceive the naked eye. As parents, teachers, and industry leaders, it’s our job to mitigate the risks inherent in child internet use.
And while the younger generations will always have the edge as far as comfort with technology is concerned, it’s never too late to take steps in the right direction. Speak to one of our experts today to see how we can help you keep kids on your network safe from these 5 covert online behaviors and more with Smoothwall.
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