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The Internet has very positive aspects for our children because they have tools to carry out homework, to learn by playing, to investigate, among other resources, but behind them there are dangers for our children. Guiainfantil.com was talking to Cris Garcia, expert in social networks, who has revealed what communities or practices can be risky for our children in cyberspace. Do not miss it!
1. Communities: Communities can be formed on WhatsApp and the internet where they tell children that they understand them, lean on suffering, induce them to depression or eating disorders:
- Pro Ana y Mía: extreme diet, induce girls and pre-adolescents to anorexia or bulimia. They set goals for lower calories consumed and claim that everything that nourishes them kills them.
- Pro suicide: induce them to suicide, anxiety and depression.
- Pro vigor or fit: they stimulate them to do extreme exercise, to consume proteins only or even anabolics to show an increasingly perfect body, without fat and marked.
2. Pornography: According to the expert, it is very easy for their photos to jump from our or our children's profiles and be used on internet portals to promote child pornography.
3. Blackmail: By obtaining photographs of our naked children, criminals or adolescents themselves can initiate blackmail by obtaining sexual favors or money in exchange for the minor's silence. If we see our son abstracted, very nervous, with nightmares, we must ask him what is happening. We must tell them NEVER allow themselves to be photographed naked or send their intimate photos or videos to anyone, and teach them all the dangers they can run. This is also known as Sexting.
4. Grooming: Through a Fake profile On the Internet they may be approaching a child with sexual intent or kidnapping. If he talks to you about virtual friendships or from abroad, there may be a pedophile behind. A false profile or a pedophile is detected because the person never shows up on camera. Their profile has photos of models or very general (a balloon, a landscape) they do not have interaction, they do not congratulate them, they do not speak to them on the internet, they have no friends or the friends they have cannot be seen or are suspicious: very few all of other nationalities, or also profiles without interaction.
5. Violence: Through the aforementioned communities there can be phenomena of challenges or struggles that some internet sites encourage minors to carry out. That is why we see so many videos of fights between children and young people uploaded to the internet. The Cyberbullying It is also one of the phenomena because bullying in class can lead to bullying through social networks.
Red flags for parents are significant changes in children or preteens: they isolate themselves, they become depressed, they say things related to death, they begin to have different eating habits such as not receiving any food, rummaging through the refrigerator at night, vomiting frequent, lose weight quickly or become obsessed with the gym, sudden wardrobe changes, do not want to talk, lock themselves in the room longer than usual, and become even more obsessed with being in the gym computer.
The tips for parents are:
- Observe if there is any sudden change in the behavior of the children;
- Be more up to date on social networks and the internet to gain their trust;
- Browse the internet with them and kindly warn them of the risks they have;
- Set rules about the use of networks, such as not publishing photos that identify the place where you are, publishing telephone numbers, etc.
- Do not give mobile phones to children before the age of 12;
- Download parental control applications.
- Do not create a profile for young children on social networks and if possible, no minor has a profile.
- Set the privacy of parents' social networks so that people do not access their children's photos.
- Report any abuse or harassment let the child suffer on the internet.
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