Do you know where your children or grandchildren are? Do you know what they're doing and who they're with? Are they safe or in danger? Parents have been fretting over these questions for millennia.
You just have to think back to your own childhood, especially your teen years, to remember how often young people put their lives at risk. Maybe they're being distracted by their smartphones while they're driving. They could be hanging out with other troubled teens who put them in unsafe situations.
These days, it's harder than ever to keep tabs on what they're doing. That's because they've got two lives: The one you can see and monitor; and the virtual one, where you may have no idea what they're up to.
That's why monitoring their search history is imperative in keeping them safe. We here at Komando.com are always writing articles that will help. Click here to learn about an app that puts parents in control of their child's online activity. You'll be glad that you did.
This is scary. New, frightening research shows a huge spike in online searches about suicide.
There has been a 19 percent increase in online searches about suicide, according to the magazine JAMA Internal Medicine. On the positive side, that includes information about preventing it. But there is plenty to worry about.
The search term, "How to commit suicide" was up 26 percent in the week after the Netflix TV show, "13 Reasons Why" aired. More about that show in a minute.
The term, "commit suicide" surged 18 percent. "How to kill yourself" was up 9 percent.
Note: Keep reading to find out what your teenager is secretly doing online.
Have you heard of the TV show, "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix? It's about a teenager who kills herself and some critics say it glamorizes suicide.
In the TV show and the book it's based on, a high schooler named Hannah kills herself after being bullied. She leaves behind recordings of the 13 reasons why she did it.
If you've got a vulnerable teenager or know one who is being treated for depression or other mental health issues, just think about how receptive they may be to a TV show whose main character kills herself. Parents have good reason to worry that the show is inspiring copycat suicides.
3 ways to keep your children safe:
1. Search your child's web browser to find out what topics they're searching for online
It's easy to find out what your child or grandchildren search for online, assuming they have not erased their search history. As you probably know, everything you do online is tracked.
The good news is, it's easy to find a browser's search history. On Firefox, for example: Click on the menu in the upper-right corner of your screen (it looks like three horizontal lines) >> History.
2. Use software to monitor online activity
Unfortunately, it's easy for anyone to erase their search history. (On Firefox: Click on the menu >> History >> Clear recent history.)
You may want to install software that monitors everything they do and isn't easy for them to erase. Try a FREE software like Qustodio Parental Control.
3. Talk to your children and grandchildren
Experts agree that one of the best ways to prevent suicide is talking about it with them. You may want to ask if they've heard about "13 Reasons Why."
They most likely have. That could be a good way to get their thoughts about suicide. It can also help you gauge if they're having thoughts of harming themselves.