4 minute read

7 Dangers of the Internet for Kids

Last Updated: July 19, 2021

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

The World Wide Web is the greatest invention since the printing press. Nothing else has so radically shaped culture, media, commerce, entertainment, and communication. But with these benefits come great dangers all parents should know about.

7 Internet Dangers

1. Pornography–Warping the minds of youth

Repeatedly viewing pornography, especially from a young age, can radically shape one’s sexual attitudes and beliefs. Frequent exposures to sexually explicit material is closely linked to more permissive attitudes about sex, such as having multiple sexual partners, “one night stands,” cynicism about the need for affection between sexual partners, casual sexual relations with friends, and even mimicking behaviors seen in pornography.

2. Sexting–The unsafe ‘safe sex’

Sexting is sending or receiving nude or partially nude photos or videos through the Internet or cell phones. When teens engage in this risky behavior, many things can go wrong. These images are easy to forward on to others. At times, these images can be considered “child pornography,” and some teens have already been given felony charges.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 teens who receive a sext share it with someone else.
  • 20% of teens have sent or posted a nude or semi-nude image of themselves.
  • Of those who have sent sexts, 76% of girls and 57% of guys sent it to get someone else to like them.

3. Cyberbullying–The mean way kids treat each other online

Bullying happens on both the playground and in the digital world. Hurtful words are exchanged. Rumors start easily and spread quickly. Profiles and e-mails are hacked. And these types of activities are common today:

4. Predators–Those seeking to ensnare our children

The Internet is a perfect forum to meet new people, but some with malicious intent can use it to “befriend” your child. Internet predators are expert manipulators, able to foster a relationship of dependence with a teenager. Most prey on a teen’s desire to be liked, their desire for romance, or their sexual curiosity. Often a predator “grooms” a child through flattery, sympathy, and by investing time in their online relationship. These can then turn into offline relationships or, in extreme cases, opportunities for kidnapping or abduction.

  • 76% of predators are 26 or older.
  • 47% of offenders are 20 years old than their victims.
  • 83% of victims who met their offender face-to-face willingly went somewhere with them.

5. Gaming–More risks of exposure to sexual media and interactions

While online and console games can be very fun, educational, and interactive, there are also hidden dangers. Much of the content of some games include sexual content, violence, and crude language. Plus, Internet-connected games enable kids to interact with strangers, some of which can be bad influences or mean your kids harm.

6. Social Networks–Redefining privacy

Social networks like Facebook are very popular online activities. But parents should be aware of the image their teens are projecting as well as the influences they are absorbing online.

7. YouTube–’Broadcast yourself’ culture means anything goes

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing website. But because anyone can upload anything to YouTube, often videos can break the Community Guidelines for YouTube, and even those that do not can still be full of sexual innuendo, provocative content, and foul language.

  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute (about 8 years of content uploaded every day).
  • Over 3 billion videos are viewed every day on YouTube.
  • Users upload the equivalent of 240,000 full length films every week.

*http://unh.edu/ccrc/pdf/CV138.pdf

  • Comments on: 7 Dangers of the Internet for Kids
    1. Tomy on

      Thank you for your interesting statistics! today there are so many dangers awaiting for kids. So parents should be very attantive to them

      Reply
      • dylan on

        i like this

    2. Scott on

      Where do you get your statistical facts from? I’d like to know the source so I can defend them.

      Reply
    3. Jane 69 on

      Why didn’t you mention that this can be easily monitored with parental control apps? I understand that you are making focus on YouTube videos but cyberbullying, sexting and contacts with online predators can be avoided if you install couple of apps. There are those that work on PC like cleanrouter or pumpic app for smartphones. This will take you less than an hour to search for the one that you like, really …

      Reply
    4. Fana Shafeeq on

      Hi, I’m doing a speech on why the internet does more harm than good to youths, and I wanted to use the statistic I read in your article, “83% of victims who met their offender face-to-face willingly went somewhere with them.” , but I was wondering if I could know where you got the stat? It would definitely be helpful to have a source to back it up for my speech :)

      Reply
    5. gerald on

      neg!

      Reply
      • gerald on

        how is youtube dangerous I have personally learned so much on there.

    6. Chris McKenna on

      You’re right! There is tons of amazing content on YouTube. Just be careful – anything that allows humans to upload whatever they want will always have inappropriate content if you look. Just be careful, and try to use YouTube on “strict” filtering (in the app settings) as often as possible just to avoid bumping into weird stuff.

      Be well!
      Chris

      Reply
    7. Petrina on

      One of the attractions of the Internet is the anonymity of the user, and this is why it can be so dangerous. A child doesn’t always know with whom he or she is interacting. Children may think they know, but unless it’s a school friend or a relative, they really can’t be sure. Often we think of pedophiles as having access to children out on the playground and other places, but because of the way the Internet works, children can actually be interacting on their home computers with adults who pretend to be children. As parents, we have a responsibility to monitor our children’s use of the Internet. To do that, we need to be aware of practical and helpful resources, safety tips, and technological solutions that guard against online risks. I have been using a parental control app called Familoop Safeguard for Android devices-App store, which I have found to be a wonderful app to monitor your child’s online activity on Android and iOS devices. On iOS devices, it can filter out age-inappropriate websites and apps, monitor kid’s online activity, review new photos in Camera Roll and contacts, track your child’s location, check screen time and set time-out mode. On Android devices the app has the same features as iOS, plus it allows monitoring of text messages and calls, highlights dangerous words on texting and the most frequent contacts..

      Reply
    8. zachary on

      I got in trouble for looking a porn and i jest cant stop. If any of you have any info for helping me to no look at this stuff plz tell me and i will tr to use your advise.

      Reply
    9. Actual Human in the Internet Age on

      Dear Parents
      If you want to ¨fix¨ the problem, here´s a few suggestions:
      1. It is impossible to Google porn if you have an accurate Google account and you are under age, which also blocks ¨unsavory” content on other websites including YouTube.
      2. Teach your kid a conscience come on now. If you educate them properly on drug abuse and other topics of the sort they´re less likely to do things like that.
      3. But it´s also important that you don´t over-police them on it. If you constantly make huge speeches on all those things, they´ll disobey and do them anyway. Instead, try teaching them casually or suggest that they get some friends together to go to a drug ed class (and whatever the parallel is for the rest of the stuff).
      4. Stranger danger. Duh. Be interested in their internet friends, ask about them, treat them as if they go to school with your child. Then, if the child wishes to meet them, go with them. Bam, problem solved.
      5. Help them understand what you´re thinking. If you simply sit down with them and talk it out calmly, you´re more likely to get through to them and have them agree with you. Even if they´re five, it´s a good tactic.
      6. Don´t be too judgmental or harsh if they do something you don´t like. They probably have a very good reason for it (whether they´ll tell you or not) or maybe you didn´t make that expectation clear to them. Just take a second in their shoes before you get too angry.

      Thanks for reading all that, I hope it helps.

      Reply
    10. Richard Keller on

      I have to disagree that gaming can expose children to sexual/inappropriate content. Because it is illegal to sell mature rated games to someone who isn’t 18 or have permission from there parents. Plus, games are rated honestly for there content and sometimes the creator slips in an inappropriate reference that cant be rated in the game. Other then that I agree with the fact that games can be tons of fun, and I enjoyed reading this article!

      Thanks!

      Reply

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *