Explain the risks and possible consequences for children and young people of being online and using a mobile phone (7.1)
The internet can be a valuable tool for both educational and social reasons, but there are some serious risks associated with using the internet and other technologies such as mobile phones. Children and young people are vulnerable and may expose themselves to dangers when using the internet, mobile phones and other technologies. They may do this knowingly or unknowingly.
One of the main risks of using the internet is that children may be exposed to inappropriate things such as pornography or other illegal or age inappropriate information that encourages activities that are dangerous. There is also the risk of physical danger. This can arise when people use the internet to make contact with children and young people with the intention of developing a relationship which they can progress to sexual activity. This is known as ‘grooming’. Paedophiles will often do this by posing as a young person with similar interests as the intended victim.
Bullying is another aspect of using the internet and mobile phones. This is an anonymous method by which bullies can torment their victims. Children may receive texts or emails that make them feel sad, embarrassed, upset, depressed or afraid. This could be damaging to the child’s self-esteem and psychological wellbeing. Cliques and groups can form online and these groups may get involved in inappropriate, antisocial, or illegal behaviour whilst using a mobile phone or the internet.
In conclusion, although most people do not think that using the internet or a mobile phone will put them at risk, there is actually much more of a risk both physically and mentally. If inappropriate information or details are given then this can lead to serious consequences such as sexual abuse or bullying. It is important for people of all ages to be aware of the information they are giving out online or via email etc....
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