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Protecting Your Family From Digital Dangers

*Collaborative post.

Today’s kids are growing up in a digital world. While digital technology can often have its benefits, it’s important to also be wary of the dangers it can pose to your family. Here are just some of the biggest digital dangers and how you can protect your family from them.

 

Protecting Your Family From Digital Dangers Picture

Pixabay. CCO Licensed

 

Addiction

It’s easy to become addicted to digital technology – especially now that phones, TVs and games consoles all of internet access. Some families can spend all their time staring at screens and never really socialising with each other. This can have a major impact on family relationships as well as leading to depression and anxiety.

There are also physical health problems that can develop from spending too much time using digital technology. The idea that people get ‘square eyes’ is an old wives’ tale, however a lot of people can get eye strain and headaches from staring at a screen for too long, as well as finding it hard to get to sleep (staring at a bright screen before bed can sometimes trick our brains into thinking that it’s still daytime, preventing us from producing melatonin).

Limiting screen time is the best way to prevent addiction. If the whole family spends a lot of their time staring at screens, it could be time to introduce a screen-free hour each day. This could help to encourage time spent together as a family or time spent pursuing other interests that don’t involve digital technology.

Some kids may protest to this, in which case you may have to take measures such as turning off the wi-fi for an hour per day or even confiscating devices. Alternatively, you may be able to use parental controls on devices to put a limit on screen time. If you don’t feel such measures are needed you could simply set rewards for not spending so much time on devices.

Digital addiction is something that can often be prevented in kids by taking action early. Many of us are guilty of giving out kids a smartphone or tablet as a distraction tool, but this shouldn’t become a regular habit to the point that screens replace toys. You may also want to be careful of giving kids their own phone or tablet too early – or only letting them have these devices an hour or two a day at first.

 

Fraud and theft

Digital technology has also become a new tool for criminals. While most criminals target businesses, everyday people and homes can also get targeted. Using details acquired online, criminals can hack into accounts or even plan burglaries. Such details can often be given away by kids who are generally less wary of the consequences.

The importance of online privacy is something that should be taught to kids – especially as they start buying things online themselves or using social media. Teach kids what they should and shouldn’t share on online (i.e. no financial details or passwords) and teach them to use privacy settings. You should also encourage them to only use only trusted websites (there are security programmes that can alert you when a site is not trusted).

The likes of this Borgata online privacy guide could be worth reading if you’re not sure yourself of what measures you should be taking. Many people for instance are unaware of certain fundamentals like cookies and SSL certificates.

 

Bullying

Bullying has now also moved online and can be a big danger to kids – particularly teenagers who are old enough to use social media. Online bullying tactics can include posting horrible comments about people, sharing embarrassing photos or videos or constantly harassing people on messenger platforms.

Not all kids are victims of online bullying and it can be hard to prevent, however you may be able to warn kids about it simply by talking about it and by teaching them how to react when it starts to take place. This could include immediately telling parents or teachers about a bullying problem or blocking people on social media platforms.

The threat of online bullying can also be reduced by discouraging addiction of digital technology. It’s much easier for kids to get away from online bullying if they’re able to turn off from it, whether it be not going on social media or not using certain devices.

The likes of this Understood online bullying guide are worth reading for more strategies on how to spot online bullying and stop it. You can also find many counselling services online for kids that are being bullied online and for the parents dealing with this issue.

 

Online predators

The web has also unfortunately become a common place for sexual predators to locate and target children. If your kids are going to use digital devices without your supervision, it’s important that you warn them about predators and how to prevent contact with them.

A good lesson to teach – which applies to the real world too – is to not talk to strangers. Predators will often try to connect to children through online games and apps, so try to persuade your kids not to talk to strangers on these platforms. As for when your kids start using social media, tell them to never accept friend requests from people they don’t know. Alternatively, you could teach your kids to come to you if a stranger is sending them messages – this way you can check the messages to determine whether you think they are worthy of concern.

This Bark guide could be worth reading for more information on how to protect your kids from online predators. Parental controls on some devices may be able to help prevent contact with these individuals as well as preventing your kids from accessing graphic content.

 

 

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Great Gift ideas for Kids

*PR samples.

My twins turn 6 in the next few weeks and I have been busy browsing the web for great gift ideas for kids. They are in year 1 now and are growing really fast, so I wanted gifts they would find entertaining for longer. My kids get bored quite quickly, so getting the right sort of birthday presents was a mission. I recently came across BrightMinds; a website that stocks over 2,000 quality toys and games for kids, and I was intrigued by the items they had on their website. There are all sorts of toys for 6 year old kids available on BrightMinds, you are sure to find exciting products for your children.

Here are some of the amazing children’s toys that caught my attention –

 

Fairy Light Garden £29.99

 

Children's toys image

 

This Fairy Light Garden is a great gift idea for the little ones. This is the sort of thing my daughter would like, which is why it caught my eye straight away. It is an excellent little toy for a child’s room and also works as a stunning night light. This Fairy Light Garden is an enchanted fairy mushroom home with glass seeds. It is great for children 4 years and over.

 

My Design Portfolio Fashion Studio £14.99

 

My Design Portfolio Fashion Studio picture

 

If your little one is into fashion, this My Design Portfolio Fashion Studio would make a great gift. My daughter is a fashion lover already and she goes on and on about being a fashion designer and having her own fashion show. So I know this My Design Portfolio Fashion Studio would be perfect for her. This kit allows you design more than 200 fashion styles. It will definitely keep you little fashionista busy. A great gift idea for children 5 years and over.

 

Large Blue Sand Timer 5 Minute £12.99

 

Kids toys image

 

This Large Blue Sand Timer 5 Minute is another great idea. My son would love this for sure. He is into all sorts of timers at the moment. Timers work great for time related activates like homework, brushing the teeth, screen time, and so on. It is a lovely way of getting children interested in the concept of time. I love the size of this and the colour is pretty.

 

 

Desktop Arcade Machine £24.99

 

Children's toys picture

 

This retro Desktop Arcade Machine is another great gift idea for kids. It is preloaded with 240 16-bit games of the 80s. It has an 8-way control joystick, 2.5″ TFT screen as well as a  built-in speaker. This is a lovely gift idea for children 6 years and over. I love it!

 

What do you think of these great gift ideas for kids? Did any catch your eye?

 

 

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