New Technologies

The dangers and crimes that children suffer and commit on WhatsApp


It seems a simple and innocent application, but WhatsApp, in addition to being recent (it has not been with us for ten years), can be a threat to our children if they use it badly. What are the dangers and crimes that children commit and also suffer on WhatsApp? We share with you the teachings of the expert Marta Rodrigo, a criminologist and police officer specializing in minors, who will surely be of great help to you to discuss and manage this issue at home.

Young people start using these technologies at a very early age, exposing them to various dangers, some of which parents may or may not be aware of.

Perhaps you have also thought more than once about the dangers of children and adolescents using WhatsApp, a mobile application that is used to keep in touch with others but which, if used improperly, can lead to suppose a crime.

As Marta Rodrigo explained to us at the 7th meeting #ConectaConTuHijo, 'WhatsApp in principle does not have to present any danger to minors. However, improper use of this application can lead to many problems for children, but also for parents. '

WhatsApp groups are very common nowadays. That is why parents and teachers must make children aware of the dangers and crimes that may exist in this regard. How? First of all, being aware that we should not let our children use this application as they please without our control. And, second, and that many times we overlook, to know what can be classified as a crime. Marta Rodrigo points out these two problems as the main ones for young people.

Privacy on WhatsApp
According to the expert, 'The first thing we have to do is talk to them about privacy. The conversations between two people are private and are not to be broadcast, because the moment you do it, you are already committing a possible crime. ' The information that you give us or that we give through this chat is not to be shared with others. The same thing happens in groups, no matter how large a WhatsApp group is, the things that are written or sent there - be they videos, photos or personal data - do not have to be disseminated by other means.

Cyberbullying through WhatsApp
In these groups, cyberbullying situations increasingly occur. What do we understand by cyberbullying? In Marta's words: 'The act of isolating a person or laughing at him. Stay and exclude her or write or send audios with threats or insults. ' The criminologist insists that the person who commits the abuse does as much harm as the other members of the group, who have their responsibility by laughing their thanks or simply by keeping quiet and not giving notice of the situation that is occurring.

The question we ask ourselves now is how our children should act if they discover that a situation like the ones we have just seen occurs on WhatsApp. Let's see Marta Rodrigo's recommendations in this regard.

- First of all: inform parents or to the teachers so they are aware.

- If there is trust with the person who treats another person badly through the chat, they can be told not to put such comments or expressions.

- Rethink the friendship with the person who commits the abuse.

- Do not forward the information, unless it is to an adult as evidence.

- Be clear that the data protection law ceases to be valid if we learn of a serious crime. In that case, privacy or any law in this regard is not violated, what comes first is the safety of those who are harassed.

- And last but not least, know the dangers and crimes of children on WhatsApp it is the first step to avoid them.

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