Thursday, February 28, 2019

Viral Internet Challenges

It happens all the time. Some new viral internet challenge pops up, and everyone hears about it and passes it on via social media and just plain rumor. Sometimes these challenges are fun and goofy. Sometimes people do them to support a cause.(Remember the ice bucket challenge?) But sometimes they are scary and encourage people to do dangerous things. (There was the Tide Pod challenge in 2017.)

There are lots of evil and frightening things out there on the internet, and we all need to be vigilant with our own intake of information and especially with what our children and teens are exposed to. The latest “Momo Challenge” is an example. There is true and false information out there about this, and we should always do our due diligence to be sure that the information we have is accurate. Check out Snopes and reputable news sources for information.

What is the best way to respond when something new comes down the pike? Well, honestly, don’t wait until something scary comes along. Families need to preemptively address this type of thing with children and teens. Set limits for children and screen time. Have children use the internet in a common area of the home where you can monitor what they are doing. Use a filtering device or software on any devices that your children use. Talk openly with your children of any age about what they are doing online. Tell your children that if they see anything scary or worrisome that the first thing they should do is to come to you.

We will soon be giving you information about a product available from Securly (our filtering and monitoring solution for our Chromebooks) that can be used to filter and monitor internet traffic on your home WIFI. There are also other parental control products out there, some of which include monitoring of cellular internet traffic.

God’s Word reminds us in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”