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Warning Signs You Shouldn't Ignore

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Author Lighthouse Guardian

Warning signs you shouldnt ignore

Lighthouse runs in the background of your child's device, protecting them from inappropriate content. At the same time we are alerting you of your child's online activity with real-time notifications whenever there is an attempt to access a blocked site or image. Pair these automated insights with your parental instinct and you will have the ability to detect online threats in the early stages. With the help of industry experts, we have compiled a list of warning signs you shouldn't ignore.

Is my child viewing pornography?

Pornography is rife on the internet, and even seemingly safe places like YouTube and Instagram may be a gateway to explicit sexual content. Lighthouse has you covered on this front, however, your child may have been exposed to pornography through a different channel - like at a friend's house or on the school playground. Here are the warning signs you can look out for:

Premature Sexual Activity / Interest: If a young child is abnormally curious about sex, experts say that it is likely that they have been exposed to it.

Secretive: Closes screens when you approach, mysterious credit card spending, more closed-off and defensive than usual.

How Lighthouse can help: With Lighthouse on your child's device, you can be assured that graphic images and content within apps and on websites is being blocked before your child sees it, and you will be notified of the attempted access instantaneously.

Is my child in contact with a potential predator?

Predators have been known to use the internet as a channel to groom children and teens. Technologically, it may be difficult to monitor if your child is in contact with a dangerous stranger as Direct Messaging and Chat are encrypted and therefore do not allow protection apps to monitor conversations. These are telltale signs that your child may be engaging with someone online, that they shouldn't be:

Secretive: Hides screen when someone comes in the room or approaches, seems withdrawn around family and friends, receives mysterious calls and gifts.

Obsessive: Seems addicted to being online and gets agitated when they can't access the internet.

How Lighthouse can help: Help use our guidelines on setting your family's internet rules.

Is my child the victim of cyberbullying?

With children spending more time online, cyberbullying is becoming a major issue. A Unicef survey showed that 1 in 3 people, across 30 countries, have fallen victim to online bullying. 1 in 5 of these children have skipped school because of it. If your child is being bullied, it could cause long-lasting trauma. Here are the warning signs that your child may be a victim.

Avoids Going Online: Your child may be hesitant about going online, in fear of the attacks waiting for her or him.

Behaviour Change: Does your child suddenly seem anxious, withdrawn or angry?

Skips School: Does your child try and get out of attending school?

How Lighthouse can help: Currently there are no features specifically targeted at cyberbullying due to the encryption of messaging platforms, but we do get our experts to offer advice on the subject. Read this article about creating a defence against cyberbullying.

Is my child addicted to the internet?

Kids spend a lot of time behind screens, but it's important to know the difference between normal behaviour and an addiction. These are the signs to look out for:

Behaviour Change: Depression, the inability to control aggression, compulsively checks device, and loss of interest in previous passions.

Warped Priorities: Spends money on data/device over essentials, prefers time online than with friends and family, replaces time spent on homework and responsibilities, loses sleep.

Breaks rules: Ignores screen time rules set, sneaks online when not meant to, lies about time spent online.

How Lighthouse can help: With Lighthouse you are able to switch off your child's internet access remotely. You are also able to schedule internet cut-off times. So if your child is sneaking online at night when they should be sleeping, you can schedule their internet to be switched off from bedtime until the morning.

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