While the Web along with television are like presents on Christmas to a mother or father just looking to use the bathroom on their own or even enjoy silence for a couple of minutes, without proper discretion these kids could easily find themselves viewing material unsuitable for their young, extremely naïve eyeballs.
In a recent study, it was revealed that footage only intended for adults is closer in proximity to the inquisitive minds of these youngsters than previously thought. According to an article featured on The Guardian website, users of video streaming site YouTube were a mere two clicks away from footage of a woman in labor after enjoying a Sesame Street video. Even more scary than seeing a woman giving birth -- like the video that scarred me for life during Biology class -- is the fact after watching Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird and their wild antics the list of recommended videos displayed on the right-hand side of the site included a link to videos only those 18 years and older should be enjoying.
Image via Shutterstock
Behind the findings is security company Kaspersky and the company also revealed that out of 24,000 young people participating in its study, nearly 27 percent of seven- to 11-year-olds and almost half of 11- to 19-year-olds saw something they described as “hurtful or unpleasant” while browsing the Internet in only the last year. This high percentage of affected adolescents is truly alarming and shows the immediate need for increased supervision when a kid is on the computer.
“It's worrying to see just how simple it is for children to access videos of an adult nature on YouTube," said David Emm, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, in a statement.
While most mega sites including YouTube do offer a safety mode that has the ability to block inappropriate material from eager youngins, it doesn’t always work as promised. So, to keep your spawns safe from child predators lurking behind their smartphone, PC, laptop or tablet here is some advice to remain mindful of:
- Don’t let a child that isn’t old enough have Internet access in their room. This, while it might annoy your not so itty bitty babies, will help to put an end to inappropriate activities via the Web once and for all.
- Talk to your little ones about the dangers being online can bring. To protect your children, you must let them know in an age sensitive way the things to be aware of when surfing the Net. Let them know you are always there to hear about something they saw while browsing so they can feel comfortable talking to you about whatever problem they are dealing with may be.
- Consider implementing parental controls on all home computers this age group has access to. If a website bearing it all (literally) is completely inaccessible from your child’s laptop, you won’t have to continue to pluck those grey hairs caused by worrying about their online habits.
In conclusion, the more involved in your offspring’s life in nearly every aspect including when they are searching the Internet the better. Because after all it’s a cold world out there and without someone guiding you through it, you might just get frostbite.
Edited by Rich Steeves