Parents Beware: Catfishing Phenomenon
The Internet opens a lot of new possibilities for kids. Nowadays there is no need to pore over books for hours and spend the whole day in the library. Any needed information is on the screen within few seconds. It is quite beneficial and timesaving.
Alike the coin that has two sides, the Internet has its advantages and disadvantages. The vastitude of the Internet, especially the ability to hide one’s real personality is very dangerous and dreadful for young generation. Catfishing is a phenomenon that has stroke the eye of publicity to the problem of online deception once again.
What is Catfishing?
Catfishing is new form of online deception, which purports a creation of sockpuppet account with the goal of duping the other person into falling for the false individual. Most cases go ahead with the intention to start romantic relations.
How Catfishing works?
A person creates a fake account in order to bring the victim to reveal personal information and start romantic relationship. Very often, catfishers create a story of the whole life and the other fake identities of friends and family.
Who is in danger?
Anyone can become a victim of catfishing. But teens with low self-esteem and dozens of inferiority complexes are exposed to risk most of all. For example, overweight teenage girl, who suffers from her excess pounds and thinks nobody loves her. Such girl can easily fall for a handsome stranger who shows his affection online, but does not exist in a real life. The worst example of catfishing is online predators who pretend to be minors to befriend peers online and lure them into the trap.
There is a thin line between catfishing and cyberbullying. The world was horrified and shocked by the story of 13-year-old Megan Meier, who started the online relationship with Josh Evans. For a month they communicated on MySpace website, but had never had a conversation via the phone. At the beginning everything was nice, but then Josh became rude and said that he doesn’t want to be her friend anymore. He said a lot of mean words to her, including that she is fat and a slut.
The story ends dramatically, after several months of communication. The girl was so devastated that she decided to commit suicide. One month after Megan`s death, her mother found out that Josh never existed. His page was created by a mother of one of Megan`s friends. Her intention was to know what the girl is saying about her daughter.
How can parents protect their kids from Catfishing?
The main responsibility of every parent is to keep their kids safe. That’s why, it is important to have an open and friendly communication with your child about online behavior. Follow these rules to protect your child:
Educate your kids
Let your kids see that catfishing phenomenon is a bitter reality of these days and happens every day and in every part of the world. Share the catfishing stories and explain the consequences where they can lead to.
Become friends on the Net
Becoming friends on different social media sites you will be able to keep an eye on their Internet activity, view their posts and statuses. Ask them to give you their passwords to their accounts and explain why you need it.
Teach them to read between the lines
Teach your kids to be very attentive to every person they are are communicating on the Net. Look through your kid’s friend list and never allow to add anyone they haven’t met in a real life. Without doubts, kids not always listen to what you say, but at least teach them to read between the lines. If a person they are talking to always says different things or refuses to have skype or phone talk, then it’s a warning sign of tissue of lies.
Use parental control
Using CatWatchful parental control app you will be able to keep track of your kids’ online activities. All their calls, messages, current GPS location and instant messengers conversations will be available to you at any time from your Control panel.
The Internet is an amazing tool, but it is also a paradise for online predators, catfishers and other people who can harm your children. When it comes to online interaction, it is important to develop responsible behavior and supervise your kids’ online usage with CatWatchful.
CatWatchful- Know. Prevent. Protect.