We live in a digital world, where new technologies mean enormous development possibilities and numerous threats for the most sensitive and defenseless users – children and youth. Most of them have had access to phones, tablets, and computers from their earliest years. For them, devices are natural elements of leisure and learning. But to keep your children safe, it’s worth getting to know the threats lying in wait for them in the online world.
Harmful content – meaning what?
On the website Chroń dziecko w sieci, you can find several examples of the kind of content children need protection from. They include:
- pornography – including violence and extreme sexual practices;
- content portraying violence and cruelty – in films and computer games (e.g., brutality, aggression, vulgarity);
- content encouraging self-destructive behavior – such as cutting and suicide, substance abuse (narcotics, designer drugs, alcohol), harmful diets;
- discriminatory content, hate speech, bullying – this can apply to various social, ethnic, or religious groups, or specific people.
photo: Emily Wade (Unsplash)
What do children and grandparents fear?
The results of the survey Dzieci i młodzież w internecie – korzystanie i zagrożenia z perspektywy opiekunów from Poland’s Social Opinion Research Center include responses from caregivers for children and youth. They were asked what threats related to children’s online presence they fear. In their responses, alongside the dangers mentioned above, there also appeared:
- dangerous contacts and relationships (e.g., with pedophiles);
- information-security and financial threats (e.g., theft, fraud, identity theft);
- stalking, bullying, harassment, hate (all of which are widespread on social media and online forums);
- Internet addiction and other problems related to spending too much time online;
- contact with sects and other dangerous groups;
- fake news (for children online, distinguishing true and false information can be practically impossible).
photo: Creative Christians (Unsplash)
How can we protect children online?
As we can see, using online resources can really bring with it numerous threats, which children and teenagers are unaware of. So how can we keep them safe? In addition to setting rules with children for using mobile devices and the Internet and talking with them about these threats, it’s a good idea to configure the security settings on their devices and install a parental control program, such as the SafeKiddo app. Its features include:
- blocking games and applications;
- monitoring social media;
- setting time limits;
- filtering websites;
- blocking sites with pornographic content;
- geolocation and geofencing.
We know that every family has different needs – which is why we offer three different packages that you can adjust to your needs and those of your loved ones.
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Remember, keeping your children safe online can’t be neglected because they don’t have the tools or the skills to protect themselves against inappropriate content independently.