Parents concerned about online safety mostly worry about protecting their kids from online child predators. Though child predators are the most dangerous solicitors that children come across surfing the net, sometimes, sexual solicitations come from fellow teenagers and people these kids know in person – their friends. These youth want them to share their personal information including revealing pictures via the internet.
According to a recent survey released by Cox Communications (PDF File), about one in five teens have engaged in sexting, a new worrisome phenomenon of sending, receiving or forwarding sexually suggestive photos of themselves through text message or email. Most of these teenagers say that they have sent these messages to boyfriends/girlfriends because it’s asked of them or to have fun. What is interesting is almost all of them know that it is dangerous.
Conscientious parents nowadays make sure that they monitor their kids use of the internet at home, but most of them do not monitor their kids going online through cell phones. The Cox Communications Survey cites that 4 in 5 kids surveyed have parents who do not control their online time on their mobile devices. Disturbingly, almost half of these parents have not spoken to their kids about internet safety on cell phones.
As more and more risky online activities like sexting crop up on the internet, it is important for parents to speak to their kids about internet safety on cellphones. They should not only be watchful of their kids’ use of internet through computers, but they have to extend it to their childrens’ use of mobile and wireless devices also.