BARK industry’s Sloane Ryan recently published a chilling investigative article on what it’s like to be an 11-year-old on the internet today. The article which quickly went viral prompted the question: how do I protect my child from online predators?
As an African parent, you might feel that this doesn’t concern you because it hasn’t been investigated here. However, cybercrimes are universal and child predators exist everywhere.
Why You Need To Protect Your Child From Online Predators
I joined Facebook when I graduated from secondary school and started becoming aware of the digital space. Though I dropped the occasional photo, I wasn’t active on the platform. By the time I became active, I was in my early 20’s and a little bit more discerning. The main story here is that the day I decided to clear unread messages that had piled up over the years, I was in shock at some of the propositions I had received.
My age and pictures were up, and these people knew I was underage. Considering how impressionable teenage years are, what would have happened if I engaged?
For most Millenials and Generation Z (those born in the late 90s – 2000s), owning or using a mobile phone is totally normal. In fact, we have been so merged with digital devices that it’s hard to separate our lives from it. It’s required in some schools, needed for assignments, and serves as a portable office.
Also, phones are so cheap these days, with N5,000 you can purchase an internet-enabled phone and a SIM card. Kids as young as 8 years old can easily access the Internet and are increasingly adept at multiplayer games and social media sites like Instagram and Tik-Tok where these predators lurk. If adults face cyber harassment, how much more kids?
Steps to safeguard your child from online predators
So, what can you do as a parent to protect them? My first knee jerk reaction is to say “No phones till they are 18” but common sense tells me it’s unrealistic. Here are more realistic and actionable steps that can be applied:
Find apps that can monitor your child’s presence online
There are free and paid parental monitoring apps available on Android and iPhone app stores. These will enable you to set some restrictions and supervise your kids’ activities online. In addition, you can set an alert for certain phrases used by harassers.
Speak to them about signs they should be wary of
Based on the report, there are certain phrases used by these predators, including asking children to consider them as just an “internet boyfriend”. Have a talk with your kids about securing their pages and being careful about friend requests.
Have agreed times for using these devices
Set specific times they can use these devices. Depending on their age, you can insist that it should not be used without supervision.
All passwords must be public
You should be aware of the passwords they use. Also, develop a system to create secure passwords that they can remember but will be tough for hackers.
There must be permissions before downloading a new app
Before they download any new app, they should ask for permission first. As a Parent, you should test run these apps and research how safe they are before they can use them
List of apps you can use to monitor your child’s activity online
Here is a list of parental monitoring apps available on app stores.
Google Family Link for parents
The Family Link app lets you set rules on using the Internet that can guide them as they explore online. It also recommends apps that are safe for your kids to use.
This app detects messages containing cyberbullying, sexting, signs of depression or suicidal thoughts, and many others — without you having to spend hours reading your child’s messages. Bark supports dozens of popular social media platforms, along with email, and Android/iOS text messaging. This app helps a parent to manage their Bark.us account, including reviewing potential issues, adding children, and connecting accounts. You can find it on Google Play and Apple stores.
The free version of is one of the most comprehensive parental control apps around. It enables you to set rules and time schedules, block pornography and other unsuitable content. For more features, you have to purchase a paid version.
The Kidlogger is very good at tracking what your children type and the websites they visit. In addition, there’s a voice-activated sound recorder which can inform you who they have conversations with online. For older kids, you can select what to monitor that would not intrude on their privacy.
The FamilyShield is a free service owned by OpenDNS. It automatically blocks domains that OpenDNS has flagged under the headings “tasteless, proxy/anonymizer, sexuality, or pornography”. Besides using it on PCs and mobile devices, you can also apply it to your network router and filter all the traffic that passes through it.
Spyrix free keylogger
Though Keyloggers are often used by crooks to capture passwords, the Spyrix Free Keylogger helps you see exactly what your kids are doing on the internet.
Kaspersky safe kids
The Kaspersky Safe Kids app is parental control software for all devices – desktop and mobile – with both free and paid-for versions. The free option has a filtering option so your kids can’t see inappropriate content online. You can also manage their app time use. For more features like a battery and location tracker, you will need to get the paid version.
Is it going to be easy to protect a child from online predators?
It might be easier to apply these steps to children than teenagers. Particularly because they might feel you are intruding on their privacy. So if you are concerned about this, for young adults from 16 above, only set alerts for certain words and not to completely have access. Also, equipping your child with skills for the digital age is necessary, but keeping them safe at this time is also important.
This article was originally published on Africaparent.com
Top 5 Nigerian Workplaces Known For Gossips
Nigerian Workplaces and gossips are 5 and 6 as most times, employees are constantly discussing their superiors almost every minute as they work on office files and more. We’ll be listing some workplaces in Nigeria that are predominant in gossiping during office hours. This list is not an overall one but few singling out of five amongst many others.
Teachers are no doubt future builders for alot of children under their care in the classes but you see, when they’re not teaching, some of them can gossip heavily about either their fellow teacher or the Head Mistress/principal of the school. If you know any teacher, ask him or her if this happens often at their workplaces.
Aside the beautiful dressing patterns and sweet voices employed by banker to make the workplace classic and customer retaining, amongst them while making photocopies of documents at the office photocopying machine or at the office canteen, some bankers can gossip for africa. Are you wondering what is it they’re gossiping about? They talk more about some colleague’s lifestyle or how that their superiors are not treating them well or how to jump to another bank for a better offer/pay.
3. Shopping Malls:
You see those nice looking sales personnel at the shopping malls? If their discussions about some customers are to be converted into a movie script, it will amount to 100 seasons full of 10s of episodes… 😂.
4. Engineering Workshops:
You see those apprentices at different workshops related to Engineering, they are not left out in this, they sure know how to talk about their masters when he’s not in at work. Most times, these masters they serve are actually most times, wicked and unnecessarily rude to their apprentices during work. To ease pain and have the courage to keep reporting to the workshop everyday, these young ones resort to gossiping about their masters.
5. Hair Dressing Saloons:
If your case is brought up at a hair dressing saloon in Nigeria, just give it up… 😂. They will disect your profile into thousands of sections. Even people who know nothing about you will so talk about you as though they’re your biological brothers and sisters.
Which other Nigerian workplaces is gossiping the order of the day? Drop your comments.
Refugee Porn Is Taking Over Germany (VIDEO)
Refugee porn is eating deep into the lifestyle of Germans as reported by media houses in Germany. This is so disgusting as refugees from different camps within the country are turned to sex slaves after being hired from their pimps. To survive, female refugees from the middle east are seen sleeping with German men for money.
The heartbreaking part of the refugee porn acts is that the sex sessions with the refugee is usually videoed and uploaded on different porn websites for viewing by other internet users all over the world. To prove that this is becoming a trend, the search term ‘Refugee porn’ has a very high volume in Germany currently. This new trend is not in any way different from other acts that are considered as ‘neglect for human value.’
The refugees who are predominantly middle east citizens are in Germany for refuge as a result of high level of terrorism in some affected areas. Syrian woman are the most victims of this Refugee sex slavery perpetration ongoing in Germany.
Do you watch porn, READ THIS
When She Cheats, Guys Take These Steps Fast
Okay… If you’re a lady reading this, don’t read through this article with sentiments okay. For you my dear brother reading this, let’s learn some good stuff here. When your girlfriend whom you’re in a relationship with cheats, it is quite painful but you see there are certain things you need do fast as a man.
Let’s roll on steps to take when she cheats..
1.Forgive her sincerely… But This is not acceptance though
When I say forgive, I mean you should sincerely from your heart let it go but, please there is a difference between forgiveness and acceptance. After letting her know you’ve forgiven her, you’ll need a good break from relationship buddy. Take a chill pill 💊 on dating. Don’t try to use sex, drugs , alcohol or partying to heal. These steps will hurt more much later. Relax from datinng for sometime.
2. Check For your own errors
In any bad situation in any romantic relationship, both party are to blame. You played a huge part in helping her cheat so easily. So, swallow the blame game pride and meditate on ways you behaved that gave her the guts to cheat in the first place. Take corrections to avoid carrying negative principles into your next relationship.
3. Go for more knowledge on dating and marriage
It is not enough to watch Bollywood and Hollywood love movies and become a pro at romance management or loving the opposite sex properly. Movies are not enough. Read books and attend meetings that will help you learn and unlearn about relationships.
4. Develop Yourself
Self development is very vital. It keeps you focused brother. You need to be more serious with your craft irrespective of your field of discipline. This will help you overcome the heartbreak that comes when your spouse cheats. More so, lack of passionate, constant self discovery and development is a sign of lack of interest to grow up.
5. Respect yourself and don’t Gossip about her
You see, there is a trend right now of guys gossiping about their woman who messed up while with them. You see, this act can’t put food on your table my dear brother. Avoid this bad move like you would to a snake venom. It’s very poisonous on your profile as a man.
So, did you find this article interesting, please drop a comment below.
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