Social networks are invading our lives and not always in a good way. Read on this article written by VeePN data security specialists to find out what you need to know to keep you and your children safe.
Today's Most Dangerous Social Media Applications
Application. Applications. Fashion words that have somehow become an indispensable part of our lives. As the internet matures and technology advances, they are only going to become more sophisticated and important for daily routines. When it comes to function, they are as limitless as you can imagine, there is an application for just about anything you can think of or need to do. The most popular ones have become known as Social Networks. Social networking is any use of the internet that allows users to interact. Where there is interaction, there is fun, but also an opportunity for harm, and when it comes to your children, the harm that can be done is, in fact, very great. This is a guide to the most unsafe social networking applications on the internet today, along with a list of applications for parents to monitor.
Used to the point of exhaustion, the most invasive aspect of social networking, applications, and the Internet, is data collection and loss of privacy. That said, there are several dangers your children face when using the web that have nothing to do with data collection: cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and preying on predators.
Now, let's talk about social networks, a family of applications found on the Internet that not only require you to submit information to use them, but actively promote and encourage you to submit more each day. Rest assured that all those fun memes, electrifying political stories, sexy body photos and posts you make, are being monitored, if not by the social networking application itself, then by predators lurking behind a veil of digital anonymity waiting for the next juicy target to appear.
At best, your child may find an advertisement for a toy they can't live without. At worst, a vicious criminal, sexual predator, or undesirable person could use this information to harm you and your family. There are dozens of reported cases from around the world of predators finding children online, luring them away from home and taking advantage of them in the most horrific way.
Phishing has long been a security problem for Internet users. It is the practice of "fishing" for useful information through surveys, questionnaires and emails designed to spark interest and generate responses. Children are especially vulnerable to this if they are not warned of the dangers.
Catfishing is a more recent problem, but with much wider repercussions. Catfishing is the practice of meeting someone online, making friends with them, and then using that relationship for further purposes. When it comes to children, this could lead to sexual harassment, stalking, or worse. If a child is enticed to send images of himself or herself over the web, it could easily end up as child pornography.
Cyber-bullying is more common than you might think. It's the use of social networks to force, threaten, coerce, or aggressively dominate someone. Social networking applications make it easy to harass and be harassed and to do so in a seemingly anonymous way. Not only that, but the way some social networking applications operate can also cause a group of kids to gang up on an individual and build up an unbearable burden of hate.
If there's one thing the web is good at, it's inappropriate content. This could range from racially sensitive to violent, pornographic, or subversive, and all of it is easily available through social networks. If you care about what your kids see and do, then you need to care about their internet-connected devices and the websites and applications they are using.