Technology has changed the way we live our lives. This change is most notable in how children interact with social media sites and the internet, which they now see as a normal part of life. But unfortunately, this new digital world can be dangerous for children; it's full of online predators who are waiting to take advantage of children and young adults by developing online relationships.
It's important that parents take online safety seriously and understand the dangers their kids might face when active online. This way, they can protect them from becoming victims of online catfishing or other types of abuse or bullying.
You can protect your child from the consequences of being catfished by teaching them how to identify suspicious online behavior, content or images if they are approached.
If this is the case, they will likely claim they had to make a new account because their original was ‘hacked’ or ‘deleted’. They will also fill their fake profiles with photos found on this person’s real account, including the captions, with a similar bio, profile photo, and username. The posted content will often be in a different order than how the original account posted them and they will probably all be posted on the same date.
Easy way to get to the bottom of it? If your child knows this person in real life they can reach out through a different outlet and ask if their account really did get hacked or deleted to figure out if this new account is who they claim to be. Nine out of ten times, it isn’t, so teach them to remain skeptical always.
If an account is reaching out to your child as someone they don’t already know, wanting to be friends online - huge red flag. Their profile photo is likely a stock image and has an account filled with scammy-looking content - no pictures of the person in the profile photo, stock images of randomness or nothing posted at all.
Encourage your child to never accept a follower or friend request from someone they don’t know in real life. It's recommended to stick to only friends and family that you trust. Even if your child does know them in real life, teach them that they have zero obligation to invite everyone they know into their online world. If there is a chance that this person will hinder or negatively impact their online experience, it’s not worth it.
Teach them the power of the block and report button. The second your child is contacted, followed or friended by a potential catfish, they should block and report the account to protect other children from being approached by them. This will also protect them from the plethora of other online threats.
Now, identifying scammy-looking content and learning when it is and isn't okay to share personal information could take your child some time to get a hang of. This is why Cyber Dive encourages you to take it a step further and get involved in your child’s online life with the Aqua One. By monitoring their smartphone activity through your parent dashboard, you are able to see these unknown friend requests come in, the private messages they are receiving and the type of content they are looking at.
With your experience and guidance, you can help them navigate the tricky world of catfishing and avoid any type of online harassment.
Join the future of modern parenting and order your child's Aqua One today.