On 6 February organisations all over the world celebrate Safer Internet Day. This dedicated day acknowledges that the dark side of the internet and inappropriate content can have a detrimental effect on children and young teens if they are exposed to it.
As such Safer Internet Day is a call to young people, parents, carers, teachers, even companies and policy makers, to join together in helping to create a better and safer internet by encouraging safe and positive use of digital technology.
Naturally, parents and carers understand the educational and social benefits of the internet for their children but are also concerned about the disturbing material that can be found online. The following pointers provide a guide to connecting with children and understanding their digital world to help create a safer environment for them.
- Understanding what children like and enjoy online helps open the door to talk about some of the things that are not healthy and potentially damaging
- Be positive and embrace the technologies that young children enjoy
- Take time to explore the games and services that children use
- Look out for any safety features that may be available on the games and platforms they engage with
Parental controls are also important in helping creating a safer internet. They allow parents and carers to actually block websites and online services that serve up questionable content.
As well as award-winning protection against malware BullGuard Internet Security provides robust but discrete parental controls. Its features are comprehensive and allow parents and carers to:
- Block adult and sexual material as well as controversial content whether its web sites that applaud criminal activity, promote cults, hate and intolerance or encourage the use of illegal drugs violence and weapons.
- Define what content children can access according to their age groups; from 3 to 7, 8 to 12 and 13 to 17 years.
- Protect personal information by ‘white listing’ information that you don’t want put online such as telephone numbers, addresses and even credit card numbers. This stops children from inadvertently exposing private information.
- Limit the length of time children spend online so they only use the internet for reasonable and healthy periods rather than disappearing to their rooms and going online until the early hours of the morning
Safer Internet Day is important. It’s an acknowledgment that today’s children and young people need to be aware of the harmful side of the internet. As adults we can help them successfully navigate the pitfalls.
BullGuard helps protect children. We are parents too and understand that while the internet offers great learning opportunities its dark side can have damaging effects on young and still developing minds.
By shielding them from troubling and disturbing content they are protected from potential damage. And in time it helps inculcate a sense of responsibility which they too will use to positively inform the development of the digital world as they grown to be responsible adults.