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Internet Dangers For Elementary

In case you missed it…October was Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it's a great time to give your kids and their devices a cybersecurity checkup. This particular month helped to raise awareness for protecting children from various dangers on the Internet. Although the Internet can be a wonderful and educational tool for our children, it can also be a scary and dangerous place, as well. Some of the things parents have to watch out for include content inappropriate for children, online predators looking to harm or exploit children, and cyberbullying.



Children are navigating the internet at a younger age than any generation or age prior. In 2013, Microsoft shared the results of their survey, “How Old Is Too Young To Go Online.” Just ten years ago the average age was eight years old. Of those polled with children age seven or younger, 29% allowed their children to use a smartphone unsupervised and 40% percent allowed unsupervised time on a computer. Now children as young as 5 are tech-savvy and can navigate their way through YouTube with ease. As our reliance on the online world increases, the starting age for children to be online decreases. Today we share some of the unsafe parts of the internet for elementary children. Be sure to stay tuned to our follow-up piece coming in December with ways to safeguard them.


According to a security expert, Rebecca Edwards, more than 55% of kids aged 10–12 have been exposed to violent content online, and nearly 60% have come across sexually explicit words or images.


Inappropriate Content

Inappropriate content for young children can include things that school-age children may find unpleasant, “gross”, or otherwise uncomfortable if they come upon them accidentally. This includes adult content in games, pornography, depictions of animal abuse, and actual or simulated violence. Exposure to questionable content at a young age can have harmful lasting effects that include hindering your child’s ability to understand and create healthy realistic romantic relationships as they mature and the unrealistic images that young children see can lead to low self-esteem.


The Cyberbullying Research Center found that more than 36% of children aged 12 to 17 have experienced cyberbullying at some time in their lives.

Cyberbullying

One of the most common online threats to children in today’s day and age is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is any electronic communication used to threaten, intimidate, or demean someone, and children can especially be vulnerable to this practice. Cyberbullies can use social networks, text messages, cell phone calls, or even video game chats to attack children online. Cyberbullying can lead to mental health problems, including stress and anxiety, depression, violent behavior, low self-esteem, and, worst cases suicide. For this reason, it is important that parents monitor their children’s activities online, and be prepared to intervene on their children’s behalf, when necessary.

For parents, online predators are the scariest boogie man when it comes to online dangers for children

Online Predators

An online predator uses the internet to coax children to share information and pictures for sexual exploitation. While females make up the majority of victims, the number of male victims continues to rise rapidly. Online predators lie about who they are and pretend to be the same age as the child to create a bond. According to The Online Enticement of Children: An In-Depth Analysis of CyberTipline Reports, predators can show up on social networks, in gaming chat rooms, and in other online settings.


Remember to remain vigilant and understand that the internet brings many wonderful opportunities to learn and explore the world, but there will always be dangers. Knowledge about the dangers will help you as a parent to keep your child safe as they navigate the online world. Don’t forget to check back in December for the second part where we explore solutions including recommended hardware, software, and apps to help protect your child. At Cape Fear Christian Academy, we will always work to partner with parents to create a safe and healthy learning environment and that includes helping to equip you as the parent with education and solutions when allowing your young one online.



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