Wherever children and young people communicate with each other, they can come into contact with people who have negative intentions. This may involve teaching problematic content or even prompting behavior that harms children. Such contact and communication risks are multifaceted: name-calling, threats and insults are not uncommon. In the case of a repeated occurrence, this can lead to cyberbullying.
Finally, sexually oriented communication, sexual harassment or the initiation of sexual contact and ultimately sexual abuse(cybergrooming) cannot be ruled out. Such risks occur primarily in social networks. Contact can be established primarily via speeches in individual messages, but also via posts on a bulletin board, comments or group messages. Individual messages are particularly problematic because they cannot be seen by others and are therefore more intimate. Children and young people should be able to recognize the danger of such contacts at an early stage and take appropriate countermeasures. These include, for example, blocking or reporting the user or using secure messengers. Try to make it clear to your child that he or she should never follow doubtful prompts. The disclosure of private pictures, addresses or telephone numbers is also taboo. If dangerous contact does occur, your child should feel that he or she can always confide in you. You can read more about this topic in our article“Young and old should be safe online“.