Do you really want to hear the news of having your child being mass murdered? Committing suicide? Or even viewing inappropriate content? The internet can be a dangerous place for you, your computer and your children. It is extremely important to be aware of the fact that not everyone on the internet is as honest about themselves that you are about yourself. Undoubtedly the Internet brings more harm than good. Predators, they are everywhere waiting for you and your child. Sexual predators do exist and are a real threat.
They target both girls and boys of all ages and use the anonymity of the internet to their advantage since they can meet whoever they want. Many are master manipulators with skills that can cripple any child’s sense of awareness. These predators mainly aim for emotionally vulnerable children, trying to gradually seduce their targets through attention, kindness, and also affection. They use these seductive techniques against their victims to build a relationship. This plays right into the adolescent mind as they look for people that can relate to their feelings.
With the presence of searchable Facebook and Twitter profiles predators can easily find information about potential victims since many naive children list personal information with no regard to safety. Even simple statements listed on a profile such as school attended, state lived in, or even work place can allow predators to gain necessary information to target these children. Once the predators achieve their victim’s trust the predator often manipulates their victim into doing things they shouldn’t be doing to compromise their safety. One in five U. S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Internet”1. Of the five U. S teenagers the victims are often pressured by their predator to send pornographic images of themselves to their predator. The victim often mistakes their trust as feelings of love which could ultimately result in the victim’s death. Even though children are willing to engage in conversion that appears innocent and harmless, parents must keep on guard to protect their families.
Consequences could be authorities finding the dead body of their child in a lake, their child getting raped and left to die, or even only finding the remains of the body. The internet imposes lots of threats, one of them being viruses. According to Norton Symantec, they cannot cover every single virus that is out there, because some are just too strong. There are some viruses that can’t be put off, and some viruses that even put you in danger of seeing inappropriate material. Even though you may not have been doing anything incorrectly, harm may still come your way.
Not only are there viruses, but there are also inappropriate websites that reach innocent eyes. Children suddenly get pictures or a file in their computer, and out of curiosity, fall under the trap they are put in. Children then click on these files and out of nowhere they are no longer in control of their computer. Not only are children at risk, adults are schemed of their money through the internet, “55. 7% of people say that email or internet is the most common known method through which victims are exposed to a scam.
Around one in seven victims stated they were unaware of the scam. ”2 Using the Internet is a great skill at any age; however the slower speed among some older people makes them easier targets for Internet scammers since seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts. Their unfamiliarity with browsing the web makes them especially vulnerable to such traps as pop-up browsers and fake items on sale. This is not something we certainly do not want to continue, but merely something we want to stop.
If this doesn’t prove internet is dangerous, nothing does. Cyber bullying is not just some insignificant problem experienced by a few. Cyber bullying is widespread, your children are aware of it, they understand how it happens and yet they are not aware of or concerned with the consequences of such actions. It is widely known that bullying can cause long-term psychological problems that are harmful to victims, including low self-esteem, depression, anger, school failure, violence and in worse case scenarios suicide.
In a study of over 3000 students, it was found that “38% of bully victims felt vengeful, 37% were angry, and 24% felt helpless”3. Cyber bullying is even more harmful to young people than face-to-face bullying. The insults, comments or images can be repeated by the bully or by others so that the victim may read or view them over and over again as the harm is re-inflicted with each reading or viewing. The size of the audience that is able to view or access the damaging material on the Internet increases the victim’s humiliation.
In addition, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allows cyber bullies to engage in campaigns against a particular person which may involve many others. Due to the humiliation felt by the victim they are at a vulnerable position in which they are afraid to seek help but rather think to take the easier option to end their life. Regardless of any situation, cyber bullies are ought to be dealt with, parents should be more concerned about their child’s safety, and more help should be offered to the victims.
If we ignore everything, the crimes of cyber bullying will go unpunished. Are we ready to lose another young life? The internet definitely does more harm than good. An individual could feel so helpless to the point of taking their own life. A computer could be taken over by a deadly virus and never return to its original form. But perhaps the scariest Internet safety concern is what could happen to an unprotected child doing battle with an Internet predator alone in cyberspace. Word count- 981