4 Ways Online Education Can Endanger Your Child
There’s no way around it – the internet has become a significant part of our lives. We use it daily to order food, find the best workout app, or discover new destinations for our next summer vacation. We’re so used to it that most of us don’t even remember what life was like before the web took over everything.
The benefits of the internet are undeniable, but the disadvantages can sometimes be harder to detect. With children’s education now moving online due to the coronavirus pandemic, parents need to be aware of what can go wrong.
For all these reasons, we’ve decided to investigate how, if you’re not careful, online education can ruin your child’s life. With this information, conscientious parents can protect their little ones in the age of remote learning. Here are the pitfalls of online education you need to be aware of.
1. Too much screen time can endanger kids’ health
In a recent report, UNICEF and its partners said that millions of children are now staring at their screens more than ever before. That’s especially alarming given we know that spending too much time looking at screens can pose severe health risks. Doctors say that increased screen time can lead to higher rates of juvenile obesity, diabetes, and disrupted sleep.
To make things worse, parents are now relying on technology more than ever. The recent coronavirus outbreak has forced us to move most of our child’s education online. However, due to the health risks of COVID-19 itself, kids are now spending both their school and leisure time on their computers and smart-phones, exposing them to the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. It’s a Catch-22 situation.
2. They’re more exposed to cyber threats
Keeping kids safe online should be a top priority for parents at all times. However, the need for increased online safety has become even more pressing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 crisis has increased the need for online education platforms quickly and dramatically. In their rush to provide kids with fast and easy access to education, many schools didn’t have time to accurately assess the security risks those platforms pose.
Luckily, while we’re still waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine, there are plenty of antivirus programs parents and schools can use to minimize the risks of learning online. If your children are currently studying online, it’s a good idea to subscribe to find antivirus software that can protect them against spy-ware, ransomware, phishing attacks, and viruses.
3. They might be exposed to pornography
A significant number of children and young adults are prematurely exposed to pornography.
This exposure usually happens online. If parents don’t attend to this problem in time, it can affect children’s perception of sex and intimacy later on in life. What’s more, children can sometimes stumble upon pornographic content while innocently searching for school-related terms.
One solution could be to make sure computers remain in shared rooms where everyone can see what’s happening on the screen. Another option could be to update security restrictions on every device and to have regular conversations with kids about what they see and do online.
4. Kids might use their parents’ credit cards without permission
When they’re left unattended, kids can find all kinds of things online. One thing can lead to another, and before you know it, you could find that your credit card has been maxed out by shady transactions or online scams.
Online purchases are way too easy to make, and kids might feel tempted to take their parents’ money and buy something for themselves online. It could be a series of microtransactions in their video game that add up over time. Or, in the worst-case scenario, they might even find themselves exposed to betting websites.
Given that more than 10% of kids aged between 11 and 16 visit online betting websites, we know the dangers of underage gambling are no laughing matter.
As technology advances, parents need to step up their game when it comes to online safety and protecting their youngsters. That’s especially true now that so many everyday activities have moved online due to the coronavirus crisis.
That said, if you prepare yourself to face the challenges of the modern age, your children will be safe online regardless of whether they’re using the internet for fun or education.