Why Monitoring Kids’ Internet Activity Doesn’t Have To Be an Invasion of Privacy

Can i monitor my childs text messages

As a parent, you’d probably do anything to protect your kids online, including embarrassing them in front of their friends (which you probably do anyway, let’s be honest here), and even installing internet content filtering software and parental control software which may or may not make them feel a bit angry, like they’re being “watched.”

Heck, even adults who aren’t parents can see why it’s so important to protect kids on social media websites and online forums. If you’ve been thinking about installing social media monitoring software on the devices used by your kids, but you aren’t sure if it’s a good decision, here are just a few numbers and statistics to keep in mind:

It’s estimated that about 93% of teens today, ages 12 to 17, go online regularly. Now, it’s definitely not easy to keep kids from using the internet, and it’s probably not a good idea to even try. Kids have greater access to the internet now than ever before, and simply prohibiting the use of Facebook or Twitter at home isn’t an easy way to protect kids on social media websites. If they can’t access the sites at home, it isn’t very hard to find access somewhere else.

Although most social media sites are fairly new (and also quite complicated to anyone who grow up with technology), kids have the ability to hear about the newest trends and figure them out at the speed of light. In fact, an estimated 73% of teens today, ages 12 to 17, have a profile page on at least one social media site. Many of these pages keep kids in touch with their peers outside of school, but the pages also allow for unsolicited attention that a young teenager might not know how to handle.

These profile pages also allow for something called “cyberbullying” to take place and to occur without adult supervision — often until the victim of the bullying is too overwhelmed to seek help. Of the teens who use social media sites, about 95% state that they’ve seen a peer being bullied online, and have seen other users chose to ignore the bullying rather than stepping up and saying something. Bullying has always been a problem with kids — that goes without saying. But online sites like social media forums allow bullies to take peer-on-peer harassment to a whole new level, which many parents have never experienced themselves.

As a parent, if you think that the best way to protect kids on social media is to install invasive monitoring tools and receive reports on their internet browsing history, well, that’s certainly an option. But don’t forget that the goal is to protect your kids — not make them feel childish and untrustworthy. Many social media monitoring services allow parents to accomplish that. These services provide minimal invasion of privacy, and they only alert parents when something worrisome pops up online.

You can’t control the internet, and you can’t control your kids (completely). But if you work together, you might just be able to encourage safer internet habits that last a lifetime.

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