September 21, 2014 What are you worried about the most? You can see the news headline now, “Do you know what your child is doing when they are on the internet or when using a smartphone?” If you were to look at a child playing on the internet they are very likely to either be playing Candy Crush or chatting to their friends on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. But what is most worrying is that they hide away from their parents and do not let them see what they are looking at. Unfortunately we cannot stop our children and must accept that technology is a part of day to day life for the modern day child. Let’s admit it: When it comes to your kids they have been exposed to the internet at a far younger age than we have leaving the modern parent with different types of worries when it comes to your son or daughter accessing the internet and what they are using it for. How do you shield your child from inappropriate content? With a TV programme you have control to turn the TV over or restrict your child from watching an age prohibited film but the internet can be more destructive as our children have access to everything. Every mum and dad has the same worries, what is your biggest worry? Exposure of inappropriate content With pornography being so easily available this is a legitimate fear that many parents face. There are still innocent web pages that hold an essence of sexuality or other inappropriate content that cannot be filtered from mischievous eyes. How can you protect your child? You cannot shield them from everything but you can use parental control software and make wise decisions to protect your children. Hours in front of the monitor If you have a child that spends hours and hours in front of the laptop from an early age, are they getting sufficient levels of exercise? The internet can dramatically decrease the level of exercise a child can receive. Lack of social awareness Parents are increasingly concerned children are spending more time chatting to their interactive friends than their real ones. This can be concerning because children aren’t gaining the exposure to learn face to face communication which is a helpful skill to have in later life. Bear in mind who is your child talking to online, they should be using it to gain new friendships but be chatting to their school friends only. What is your child’s presence on Facebook? We have all heard of Facebook but is your child an addict with their own profile page for the world to access? What measures are you taking to ensure their private identity is protected? It is very easy for your child’s photos and personal information to get into the wrong hands. The best thing we can do to protect our children is to communicate with them and advise them of the dangers to give them an understanding of what they are open to.