As technology is an important part of our lives, it is almost impossible to cut it out of our children’s lives. For starters, children are introduced to the internet at such an early part of their life now that it increasingly harder to prevent them from the dangers at such a young age. I’m sure we can all agree that there are risks linked with allowing children to explore the online world.
It is important for you to make sure they know the risks before going online, and that you enable the parental control settings. There are plenty of ways to protect your children from the internet.
- Talk to your children about the different types of sites that are okay for them to explore, and those that are not.
- Create a different name for your child to use on gaming sites. That way they are not in danger of being tracked down by their real name.
- Discuss with your children about revealing personal information and how it is not allowed without your permission.
- If your child uses gaming sites that encourages chatting with strangers, tell them never to meet anyone in person.
New US regulations on online privacy for children provide a stricter set of rules offering new protections on mobile apps and social networks for the young. These rules have updated the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, introducing stricter privacy protections for children under 13. They have decided to ban the behavioural advertising which is directed towards children without their parent’s consent. I personally believe that this is good – for starters you wouldn’t want your child to be subject to adverts enticing them to buy things! Therefore, your children would be exempt from the “re-targeting” ads which we all are subject to based on our browsing history. These rules have also been applied to mobile apps and “plug-ins”, which are very similar like button we have on Facebook.
Facebook is illegal for under 13 year olds, but as the younger generation are increasingly faced with the Internet, you can’t stop them from finding a way to create a profile. Personally I think that children are starting to want to have Facebook at such early stages of their life, and as the craze hasn’t started to die out, people are faced with tagged photos online from the age of 13 +… This means that the Internet has the ability to document huge parts of your life as you grow up! Stanley Holditch, the online safety expert at McAfee explains that, “It’s incredibly easy for kids” to dodge the age verification. The study showed that 85% of children in The US used Facebook between the ages of 10 and 12.
Holditch continues, “There are very real perils out there… Kids are giving away info without thinking about it. So it is our role as adults is to teach children the perils of the world.”
So what do you think? Do you think the increase to the children of today’s safety online is a waste of time? For example, introducing apps that cost money for adults will only make things that much more expensive. How do we really protect our children from dangers online?