The on-going conversation about creating a safer internet for kids and teenagers debated on global platforms on the Safer Internet Day on February 11, 2020. But can only discussions make the internet safer for your child?
The internet’s power to keep many of us constantly engaged is undeniable. However, this constant connectivity increased numerous safety and security issues all over the world, especially for parents concerned about their internet-using kids.
The History of the Safer Internet Day
The Safer Internet Day celebrated in most of the countries is observed every year on the second day of the second week of February. The motive behind celebrating this day is the aim to create a better internet for people to dwell in.
The Safer internet day started in 2004 by a European network of Awareness Centre called Insafe. The purpose of this day is to promote better and safer usage of the internet globally.
The mission was quickly recognized by many countries and soon in 2012, the day gained global recognition in the United States. The joint agreement between the European Commission and the US Department of Homeland symbolizes this day as an influential day for safe internet usage globally.
How Google Celebrates Safer Internet Day 2020?
The biggest search engine in the world, Google, was eyed by the internet industry to know how it’s going to celebrate the safer internet day in 2020.
The company in an event held in Abuja marketing announced launching $1 million pan-African, a Google.org fund. The fund is built to support innovative ideas to resolve the issues of internet privacy and security. Moreover, it aims to build the trust of families online, mostly across sub-Saharan Africa.
The company also announced its landmark on child online safety program called Be Internet Awesome. The program launches in Nigeria, Netherlands, South Africa and Kenya. The program will help kids use the internet safely.
Furthermore, the Internet Awesome program teaches minors the skills to surf the internet safely by recognizing potential online frauds and identifying cyberbullying. The program also teaches kids the right things to do when they encounter questionable content on the internet.
Preach and Teach Your Child about Internet Safety
The survey conducted on kids’ safety on the internet by MMO gaming company Roblox in 2019, suggested that there is a gulf between how young people and adults perceive and use the internet. As per the report, 93 % of parents said they talk to their kids about the appropriate use of the internet and the questionable content on the internet. However, the survey also concluded that 39% of kids felt that those discussions were happening between them and their parents.
This survey is an example of how parent’s beliefs and kids’ approaches contradict largely. Especially when it comes to usage of the internet, the understandings are different.
Therefore, we have included some of the approaches that parents should follow while talking to their kids about internet safety and more.
Teach Yourself First
Before you start teaching your kid about internet safety and the right ways to use different social platforms, you need to understand the complex nature of the internet first and how every kid perceives it.
According to Roblox’s director of digital civility, Laura Higgins, Depending on the age of your kid you might need a different approach to have a discussion with them on internet safety.
The good part here is that most of the social networking sites popularly used by kids these days allow parents to keep a check on their kid’s social media activity.
According to the report, a large number of kids lie to have an account on Facebook that is a social networking site for teens and older. However, parents can keep a check on their kids who use Facebook. By going to settings of their own account and making their kid as “close” friends, parents can receive notifications of their child’s activity.
Not to forget that you’ll need to have your kid as friends on your Facebook account to enable this option.
Take Help from Online Protection Tools
Some of the family protect online tools to help make sure your kids explore unquestionable contention on the internet. Online protection tools as Net Nanny. The online tool helps parents in controlling the exposure of content on the internet to their kids.
Discuss the Causes of Violent Extremism with Your Child
Discussing the aftermath of channeling violent extremism with your child online can help in its prevention.
For discussion, first, you need to keep the line of communication open with your child. Teach them productive and positive ways to control violent behavior. Also, observe whether your child is vocal about extremist ideologies online. In addition, if, you need, use proper guidance and channels to control it.
The internet safety day is celebrated to promote the healthy use of the internet globally. However, apart from celebrating it every year, you need to work on making the internet a better place for the young generation yourself. Kids, particularly, are easily influenced and therefore need a safer and more productive internet for their use.