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What you can do to protect children online?

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These days, even the youngest of age has his or her own social media account and can easily surf the internet, and adults have the responsibility to make sure they are safe when using such.
Photo courtesy: World Economic Forum

Ensuring child safety online

Photo courtesy: Kaspersky
Photo courtesy: Kaspersky

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that 73.9 percent of Filipinos aged 10 to 64 years old used the internet more frequently for social media in 2019.

Per region, Metro Manila had the highest proportion of Filipinos who used the internet for social media platforms.

Among age groups, those in the 10-14 bracket accounted for 76.5 percent of Filipinos who used the internet for social media, while those 15-19 years old accounted for 93.1 percent.

Indeed, this proves that social media is now very much accessible to anyone.

While we recognize the efforts implemented by the tech giants to protect their younger users, parents or guardians still have a role to play in strengthening the wall of protection for minors online.

According to the World Economic Forum, "the most immediate and effective interventions to keep children safe online are those made by parents and close family members."

It cited UK communications regulator Ofcom that listed tips to ensure children are not exposed to harmful online content like:

  • Recognize that your child values being online
  • Agree on ground rules for online and social media use
  • Check your child's 'online age' is accurate.
  • Talk regularly to children about their online lives and let them know they can talk to you about any concerns
  • Use parental controls on phones, tablets, and laptops to prevent exposure to harmful content

Aside from these, cybersecurity company Kaspersky also shared these to keep children safe when using social media platforms:

  • Learn about which social media platforms teens use
  • Review social media privacy settings
  • Talk about the dangers of over-sharing online
  • Guard your location on social media
  • Watch out for apps within social networking sites
  • Teach your child to be aware of what they post online; deleting such does not mean it is permanently deleted from the internet
  • Monitor your child's social media account
  • Be alert to cyberbullying
  • Set a good social media example
  • Teach children to take breaks from social media

We cannot prevent children from using the internet, especially during the current times when everything can be accessed online. Adults can only implement precautionary measures to ensure that they are protected from harmful content.

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