Is It Reliable to Use Safety Apps Like SecureTeen to Protect Teens?
If you are a parent, there are high chances that your kids have either gotten their first smartphone or they are ready to get one. You must be worried about this situation as you know how many threats are waiting for your kid in the digital world. Perhaps, you are thinking about knowing more about safety apps.
Pornography, cyberbullying, internet addiction, sexting, and there are many other dangerous things that your kid can stumble upon while using social media. This has got all the parents worried about leaving their kids alone on the internet.
No matter how much you want to, it is quite challenging for the parents and guardians to identify or even understand the use of digital devices by teens. Today, these kids have got all the world inside their pockets. They can use it for whatever purpose they want, and it is true, they are seen indulged in wrong activities. They are even putting their lives at risk.
As stated in this article published on HuffPost, kids are too much involved in the online world, so parents need to have proper knowledge about it before they talk to them. They should know what they do, what possible dangers are out there, what features are new, and what is the trend these days.
First, be where they are. Join the social media platform they are using, join them on their gaming platforms, make them feel that you enjoy what they enjoy. You don’t need to suffocate them with your extra care and concern. Be cool like they are.
This article states that according to experts if you want your kids to make better decisions online, you ought to take a better approach. Take a more ‘teen-centric’ approach instead of ‘parent-centric’ to make them feel dependent and responsible for the decisions they make online.
Help them understand the risks of the online world along with making them strong enough to manage those risks. The use of safety apps is not wrong, but parents need to give them the right environment to feel independent and able to self-regulate their online experiences.
Understanding the Privacy Paradox
When parents use safety apps that impose sudden restrictions, kids start doing two unhealthy things; sharing too much with strangers and peers, and hiding everything from the parents. This is the privacy paradox.
Teens do want privacy and at the same time, they want to share everything with someone. Parents make the mistake of taking away their privacy and not build a level of trust with them. When parents put a lot of restrictions at once without communicating with their kids, this creates a big gap in communication.
The Ethics of Using Monitoring App for Parents
A study was conducted on around 200 sets of parents and teens. It was found that almost 50% of the parents use these safety apps to monitor their teens’ social media activities, block some explicit content, or manage their screen time. Although the apps were helping a lot, there was another problem arising.
The parents who were using these apps were becoming stricter and less communicative with their teens. They weren't even discussing these tools with the teens, let alone communicating with them about the risks in the digital world. Interestingly, the kids of these parents were more likely to report online harassment, unwanted content, and other problems with the kids online.
Parents need to understand that these safety apps are there to help them manage their kids better and ensure safety for children. If they want safety apps to do all the work without playing these essential roles, it will be counterproductive then.
Know the Technology Before Blocking it
Before blocking any content or app, study it thoroughly. Check out if it is really dangerous for your kids, it requires too much personal information from the kids, has harmful content for them, or if the app can turn on the camera or microphone any time?
Questions like these let you come up with the exact idea of what you should do. You should block the apps or websites that are harmful to your kid, but this way you can discuss with them the reason behind the action.
Don’t let them play the card “you know nothing”. Instead, know what is going on the internet, what social media platform are they enjoying, or what are their interests. Once you know it, you can talk to them with confidence about the risks they might face.
For a better relationship, you can ask them to teach you stuff online. Learn to play games with them and enjoy what they enjoy. This way, they will come close to you and protecting them would be easier.
Don’t Secretly Monitor Them
This article states that there is a huge gap that is created when parents don’t talk to their kids. If you monitor them without telling or discussing with them, how would they feel? Consider them a complete human being with good intellect and confidence. You will give them the confidence they need.
When parents don’t talk to their kids, they are cornering themselves. What will they do to the information they get when they are having such a bad relationship with their kids? Teens are emotionally very alive and deep. So, when dealing with them, don’t forget that respect is a two-way street.
Use SecureTeen Safety App as Help for Better Parenting
SecureTeen helps you monitor your child, manage their screen time, block harmful websites and other stuff. It helps you understand what your kid is up to these days. Any unusual behavior can be known through this.
You won’t have to ask them zillion times about what’s wrong. You can simply know through their social media as teens tend to share everything over there or most social media is the cause of their disturbance.
But along with using SecureTeen, parents need to make sure that they have earned the trust of their kids. The monitoring won’t help if you have this large communication gap in between. Give them respect and attention so that they can return the same. The more independent and confident you will make them feel, the more they will love you.