As access to a mobile phone and to the internet can have a number of risks, with an increasing number of children and young people having access to these also increases the possibility of the following – Cyber-bullying – This can be anything from a text to an email or even pictures. This can make a child feel embarrassed, upset, afraid and depressed, all of which can have a damaging effect on the child which could lead them to having other problems like eating disorders, depression which would affect them later on in life and even have them contemplating suicide.
Access to unsuitable sites – Some site may not be age appropriate and have Grooming – This is when there are adults seeking to exploit children, by where they start a relationship with the child with the intent of progressing into sexual activity. Inappropriate advertising – This could not be age appropriate. Social networking – This can have an effect on friendships and lead to cyber-bullying. Sexting – This may lead to the loss of a child’s innocence and also abuse. The use of webcams – Could lead to the child have contact with unsuitable people and also lead to abuse. Online shopping – this could lead to the loss of private information like card numbers and passwords and leading to identity fraud. 7.2
There are a number of ways of reducing this risk to children and young people. You may need to talk to and explain to them about people who may not be who they say they are and may not have the best intentions. You could use control systems to put passwords on sites and even block sites from coming up. Restrict the amount of time that your child spends on the internet. When a child is using a mobile phone you can restrict the amount to credit that is on the phone, you could explain to them that the phone is there for emergencies and should be used with respect. You can also put a password on the phones internet to stop them from using it to by inappropriate games and apps.