Google recently conducted a research which found that parents of children attending school online were more concerned about online safety than ones whose children attended school in-person
Google recently conducted a research which found that parents of children attending school online were more concerned about online safety than ones whose children attended school in-person.
The research was conducted alongside Google’s Trust Research team in Asia-Pacific (Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico)
In order to instil some confidence in parents of children attending school online, Lucian Teo, Online Safety Education Lead at Google revealed a few tips to ensure better safety online.
Protect their digital identities.
Among the surveyed parents, the privacy and security of their children’s information was the top concern. Parents cited concerns around scams or hacking of their child’s accounts.
Here are some simple ways to safeguard kids’ information:
Teach your children how to choose strong passwords that cannot be easily guessed. Avoid simple passwords that use names, birthdates, or even favourite cartoon characters. And don’t forget to check your own passwords. It is also useful to stick to platforms that have a strong reputation for user safety.
It is important for parents to be aware that online social platforms can also be used by ill-intentioned strangers to reach out to children. Just as in real life, it is important to be aware of who children talk to online.
In order to help the children, it is important for the parents to talk to the kids about the games they play or the videos they watch, and also the people they play with online.
According to the survey, in India, 74% of parents with children attending school online during the Covid-19 pandemic expressed increased concern about online safety. But interestingly, 34% or more than a third of parents interviewed have never spoken to their children about online safety.
When assessing if a game is suitable for your child, it is important to check not only the content of the game, but also whether the app allows online communications with others. Some multiplayer games allow only a few options for social interaction, like a thumbs up rather than a text chat. This reduces risks of unwanted social interactions by quite a lot.
Offer appropriate content at the appropriate age
The fear of children encountering inappropriate content has long been among the top concerns of parents in surveys. There are family safety features that parents can use to help guard their children from content that may not be suitable for their age. In India, Google’s survey showed that 71% of parents are currently using online family safety features.
Here are some features that you can start using today:
Turning on SafeSearch on Google helps filter out explicit content in Google’s search results for all searches, including images, videos and websites. SafeSearch is designed to help block explicit results like pornography from Google search results.
Manage your child’s device by creating a Google account for your child and using Family Link. This allows you to add filters on Google Search, block websites or only give access to the ones you allow or track the location of your child if they have their own device.
Many parental controls are available on YouTube Kids. You are able to limit screen time, only show videos that you approve or select suitable content based on the age of your child.
Some other time-tested tips include allowing children to use the internet only in common areas in the home such as the living room.
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