‘Every Child Is Vulnerable’, Says Expert As He Shares An Urgent Warning To Parents About Kids Internet Use

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In a recent warning, Jon Rouse, a renowned child protection investigator from Australia, has emphasized the urgent need for parents to safeguard their kids internet use.

‘Every child is vulnerable’, Expert Shares Urgent Warning About Kids Internet Use

He stresses that no child is immune to online threats, as criminals adeptly exploit vulnerabilities. Rouse’s extensive experience, detailed in his book “Saving Our Kids,” offers valuable insights for parents about children online activity.

Rouse underscores that it’s the responsibility of parents to understand how apps and devices work, researching and testing them to ensure their children’s safety. He advises against relying solely on big tech companies for protection, as parents provide the devices and, therefore, must actively engage in securing them.

One growing concern is “sextortion,” where predators deceive children using chat apps, posing as celebrities or exciting figures to extort explicit content or money. This crime predominantly targets girls but is also affecting boys through “financial sextortion.”

Predators demand money or explicit content by threatening to expose captured content to the child’s friends and family. This alarming trend has seen a significant rise, with 18 complaints of financial sextortion daily in Australia.

Rouse recommends parents collect devices at bedtime and encourages children to keep their friend lists private, fostering safer kids online use and experience.

Here are some concise online safety tips from Laura Easterbrook, a Child Protection and Forensic Medical Service expert in Queensland:

  1. Initiate conversations with your children about their online activities early and maintain open dialogue as they grow.
  2. Monitor your child’s online time, especially for younger children. Place computers in central areas and control Wi-Fi passcodes for mobile devices.
  3. Familiarize yourself with parental controls and search restrictions on browsers, internet service providers, and devices.
  4. Know your children’s online friends and educate them about potential online impersonation risks.
  5. Teach your child the importance of privacy and discretion when sharing personal information or images on social networks.
  6. Be mindful of your family’s digital footprint, as shared content can be used in unforeseen ways.
  7. Ensure your child keeps their location private by disabling geo-tagging features on apps and devices.
  8. Limit screen time in accordance with recommended guidelines (no more than two hours a day for children aged 5 to 17).

Jon Rouse’s warning and Laura Easterbrook’s advice serve as vital reminders for parents to actively engage in protecting their children from the increasing threats in the digital world.

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