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Child Safety Online: Tips for Law-Conscious Parenthood

By on February 10, 2017
Child safety Online

Contemporary children are super knowledgeable in all the technology-connected stuff. They absorb innovations with exciting ease and start using internet connected devices at an early age. Moreover, these adorable little geeks may find solutions for problems which seem to be just arduous for adults. Yet they are children! And adults should do their best to ensure child safety online.

The current article covers the most obvious problems connected with the online safety of children and shares valuable recommendations of how to handle them.

The Other Side of Internet Opportunities

It goes without saying, the internet entertains, educates and communicates children with one another. Besides, child-directed sites, services, and apps do their best to be captivating, vibrant and child-friendly. Subsequently, the minor may benefit tremendously as a digital citizen.
I suppose my reader is an adult. And if the title of the article brought you here, you are probably, a parent, grandparent or maybe an aunt or uncle, who feels concern about the child’s vulnerability online. The cyber safety has several aspects.

Privacy is problematic for any internet user. Yet, children are more vulnerable! Supposedly, it is because they are naïve.

Furthermore, minors are really like a sponge in terms of absorbing information. Yet, online content is not always appropriate for child’s psychics. Racist and violent materials, even pornography are becoming increasingly more available online.

The same old bullying occurs on Internet as well. Nevertheless, in the cyberspace, it has advanced in terms of scales and techniques.  For example, on the web, a mean adult may bully a teenager.

Child Safety Online: Considerations for Operators

On and after January 1, 2015, site and mobile app owners in California ought to consider the Senate Bill No. 568. It addresses rights of minors in the digital world. The bill defines “minor” as a natural person under 18 years of age who resides in California.

The Bill essentially covers two aspects of child safety online:

1) The content of advertisements. According to the Bill, the operator of an Internet Web site, online service, online application, or mobile application directed to minors shall not market or advertise specified types of products and services to minors. Alcoholic beverages, firearms or handguns, ammunition, tobacco, cigarette are a few examples from the full list of the products and services itemized in the law.

2) “The right to be forgotten”. This is the privacy connected aspect of the Bill. The Internet operator should notify the minor about their right to remove or request removal of content or information she/he has posted. Seems like the Operator identifies/guesses about  user’s age because either its intended audience is children, or it has gathered data on user’s age previously.

Child’s Success is About Parents’ Participation

Still, adults (parents, teachers etc.) should take the responsibility of ensuring child safety online. First of all, inform your child about their rights as defined in the Senate Bill No. 568. Furthermore, as Attorney General of California recommends “make internet usage a family affair.”

In addition, consider the following:

  • Protected privacy:  In order to protect the minor, the adult should be privacy conscious! Say, many parents have a habit of proudly posting their child’s photos on social media. Yet, as opposed to children, adults do not have “the right to be forgotten.” Moreover, they risk being sued by their own child years later. Therefore think twice before posting your child’s photo. And think three times before posting your nephew’s or niece’s photo.
  • Child-oriented content:  Common Sense Media rates mobile apps and sites for different age categories. Check them for your child!
  • Cyberbullying: You can get trustworthy information how bullying works online and tips for preventing them on Attorney General‘s site.

In conclusion, though children will probably encounter risks in the cyberspace, education and active participation of parents will enable them to surrender hazards and apprehend internet opportunities safely and successfully.

We tried to cover just the most obvious aspects of child online security. Yet the article has not talked out the topic fully. Thus, in case you are aware of other useful resources or hands-on recommendations based on your practice, feel free to share them share them in the comments.

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About Armin

I am someone with a lively interest in spreading the word on law-related issues.

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