According to a survey, 80% of teenagers with Internet access use one or more social networks. Children are now connected at an early age which is not without problem as to the risks associated with the Internet: cybercrime, intimidation, threats, pornography … The role of parents is key to protect them and there learn to surf safely.
The generalization of smartphones offers everyone access anywhere and at any time to social networks. In 2014, 73% of 13-16-year-olds and 21% of 9-12-year-olds already had a Facebook profile in France, according to the EU Kids Online study. Numbers even higher than the age limit of registration is set at 13 years. Similarly, 41% of 9-16-year-olds used social networks without any parental restrictions.
Figures that are only growing. Yet difficult at that age to differentiate between private and public spheres. We are far from the time when we just told children not to speak to a stranger. Because on the net, they are more and more numerous through instant messengers, forums, chats, online games, emails and, especially, social networks.
Three main risks can thus be identified on the
- Cybercrime: viral attacks, spyware, identity theft, theft of personal data … Whatever its form, it threatens your children as much as you. But surely, they are less suspicious than you. To effectively combat these risks, adopt an antivirus solution.
- Cyberbullying: more permissive because it directly attacks your child and not your computer. It may be more difficult to notice and to fight against its harmful effects. A survey- the Evaluation, Foresight and Performance Department – shows that 4.5% of middle school students undergo cyber-harassment – that is to say, repeated verbal, physical or psychological violence – and one in five students has been a victim of cyberviolence.
- Finally, reputation online: without realizing it, children can harm themselves or their reputation via private conversations, email exchanges, photos, embarrassing videos … This is what ‘calls’ sexting’. Originally, malicious people – sometimes even other teenagers or adults – who then publish these contents on the web.
The Ministry of National Education thus launched this year a vast campaign to act against bullying at school. A harassment that often starts behind a computer or phone screen and gets worse in the playground, where the parents are not. On February 10, 2015, safer internet day was launched with cyberbullying as a major theme.
So many reasons that push for a certain “education” of children and adolescents for a secure web use and avoid exposing them to these threats. You can then apply ten very simple tips to help you.
- Learn about different social media and their uses
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine or Tumblr are among the favorite networks of young people. Not to mention that new ones are born almost every month! To each media, its habits and therefore its risks. If you do not create a profile on each of them, find out at least about the type of use they involve to identify potential threats: exchange of videos, instant messages, chat with strangers.
- Impose an age limit
If most social networks mention the age of 13 as the legal limit for creating an account, it is not difficult to lie about its date of birth. The Online Child Privacy Protection Act does not allow businesses to collect
personal information about children under the age of 13 without the permission of their parents. But it’s up to you to make sure this rule is respected in your home.
- Make your children aware of the dangers of social media
Speak openly and freely with your children about the dangers of sharing photos, videos, private messages … and answer their questions. And why not surf with them to show them what consequences their publications can have on themselves and others? In addition, teach them, for example, not to click on links they do not know, not to share their private content with strangers, to disconnect systematically from their session once completed …
- Do not multiply screens
Nearly 80% of 6/17 and 96% of 15-17 year old’s surf the net in their room. By leaving access to the computer in a common room, you can control their use faster and also interact live with them. Likewise, it will encourage them to spend less time online.
You may also have a child-only computer on which you will have a hand, and another for you. You are sure that your children will not send your personal information, even by mistake.
- Establish a charter of internal use
Time of connection, authorized sites, sharing of the computer with the other members of the family, accepted uses (sharing of photos …), etc. Set your own rules and create a well-defined framework around social media. You can also create a session for each family member so that your own data is not accessible to them.
- Check your child’s privacy settings regularly
Like antivirus for your computer, the privacy settings on social media are the nerve of war. Check them regularly as they evolve constantly. Result: sometimes difficult to separate things and see the changes. But without even having voluntarily modified them, it is possible that your child’s account is no longer as “private” as it was. Think about it each time you update the social media! The key points to control:
- Uncheck automatic
- photo identification
- Only allow posts to their friends on the network
- Also, uncheck “Enable my 18th
birthday”, otherwise all content will be made public
- Do not check the geolocation box for posting a message
- Create a complex password
As with any online account, the first security goes through the quality level of the password. The first step to hack an account. The longer and more complex a password, the harder it will be to hack. The basics of network security systems have evolved So, remember to apply some very simple principles and keep your children’s access codes safe. Also, ask them not to divulge or write them! Otherwise, change them immediately.
- Remove access to social media …
… or even delete their accounts if your children do not respect the rules put in place. A measure certainly definitive but has the merit of being effective. You will be able to allow them to sign in again when you think they are more mature. You can then contact the site directly to request the closure of the account … provided you have the corresponding identifiers!
- Filter the contents
You can enable Google’s Safe Search “strict” filter (in “Settings” or http://www.google.com/preferences ) to block sexual content, for example. If unfortunately, despite its precautions, you find that your child is victim of a cyberattack – harassment, insults, violence, incitement to hate … – record the evidence (messages, photos …), note the URL or the name of the child. contact and notify the authorities or directly the social media concerned. You have specific features on each network to do this.
- Anticipate and limit risks with
Some solutions like for PCs give you better control of the internet and allow you to effectively filter certain sites through a blacklist of URLs and specific keywords. Additional advantage: you can adjust these prohibitions according to the age of your children. An Internet security suite, such as Norton security, also provides you with an additional level of security. And do not forget to apply them on your laptops, smartphones and tablets. Indeed, the diversity of media and free applications multiply the risks.
My name is William Jacob and I am a professional writer. After completing my study, started my career as a blogger and as a writer. I am 5 stars rated author at https://marketresearch.biz