Technology has brought us many wonderful things to help us with time management, convenience and entertainment. Smart phones, tablets and smart TVs do much more than the typical telephone or television ever intended to do, and that’s the beauty of innovation, advancement, and evolution.
With all new things, comes an element of caution and concern on the possible hidden dangers that may lurk within the confines of the next best thing since sliced bread. Minors especially can fall victim of these dangers so it is up to society and parents to keep themselves educated and aware to take the necessary precautions to keep our children safe.
The dangers can range from upsetting or inappropriate content, abusive players in an online virtual game, children playing with adults who pretend to be children, to children becoming hooked on games or social media sites hindering them from doing other activities.
1. Talk to them about the topic as you would to an adult. Have a conversation about staying safe online. Talk to them about what games, movies and television shows are appropriate for them to watch and explain why. Help them to understand why some things are inappropriate.
2. Check your TV provider’s/laptop/mobile devices’ settings and look for the parental control section. Many television service providers conveniently allow you to program your television settings to only allow certain types of shows to be available on the television. Apple, for instance, with September iOS13 update introduced an even larger number of child protection measures when using their products.
There are some providers that also don’t allow purchases on your television unless a pin or code is provided first. This can also be set for your tablet as well. Your personal tablet and phone can be locked so that you can still enjoy more age appropriate programs but if your child has their own you can easily set restrictions there as well.
3. Explain that not everyone they talk to or play with online is who they say they are. Explain the dangers of giving out their name and address or any personal information and what can happen if they share this information. Tell them how adults can pretend they are kids just to get this type of information from them and teach them how to block, mute and ignore people online. Also explain to them the importance of not sharing their photos or any photos of themselves, their surroundings or any family members. The more informed they are, the better.
4. Keep the conversation going. Don’t just talk to them once and assume that they will abide by everything you have told them. Shampoo, rinse and repeat. In other words, explain to them over and over these tips and be mindful of what they are watching, playing, talking to and doing on the internet regularly. People often associate sites in industries like gambling to be of greatest danger for minors, but dangers lurk in more places on the internet than we may imagine.
The social media industry takes the safety and welfare of children very seriously and has measures in place to help parents keep their child safe. Facebook and Instagram, for example, states that no one under the age of 13 is to be registered on the site and would be in strict violation of their terms of service. If your child is over 13 and has an account, make sure the posts that your child makes are only being seen by their friends and not to the general public, which is the default setting on Facebook. You can change this by going to the “Settings” section of their personal profile, select ”Privacy” option and then under “Who can see my posts” change this to “Friends only”. There are blocks available if you don’t want someone reaching out to your child and you can even have your child’s profile hidden from search engines, like Google and Bing.
Another industry that remains diligent in keeping their sites off limits to children under the age of 18 is the online gambling industry. All online casino establishments require full account verification in form of different ID documents upon registration or any real money transactions.
“The online gambling industry have strict security and safety measures in place to ensure that minors cannot use their sites and any attempts to breach these rules are taken very seriously. Advanced protection software and systems are in place to ensure that no one under the age of 18 can penetrate the system and for the adults on the sites, their safety and security is also of utmost importance, both in the social settings as well as the payment transactions.
As you can see, we too stress the importance of age legality on our site, despite not being a gaming operator ourselves. As an advertising partner it is our responsibility and main priority to only promote legal and safe activities for players.” says Arvid, PR Manager at Livecasinokings, a comparison site for online casino players in India.
Technology may evolve, changes in how we use electronics may occur, it’s inevitable, however, the way in which we protect our children and the priority in making sure they stay safe as these changes occur, doesn’t.