How to Keep Children Safe on the Internet

by - April 08, 2022


The internet has been very beneficial, particularly during the pandemic. Our kids have been able to adapt to an alternative way of receiving education through Online or Virtual Learning. The number of internet users have increased over the years, but more since the pandemic started. 

Many of these new users are children. They need to use the internet in the ‘New Normal’ of online or distance learning and researching homework.

Why Internet Safety Is Important in the New Normal

Despite the vast advantages of technology, it is important to remember that the internet is open to everyone around the world. It's critical that you recognize the risks for yourself and others. According to UNICEF, around 8 out of every 10 Filipino children are at risk of cyberbullying or online abuse.

Due to the ‘new normal’, children now use social media as a way to keep in touch with their friends. Many of the young people measure their popularity by the number of online friends or followers they have on social media — they boast their high number of online friends or even flaunt their ‘online’ girlfriend or boyfriend. But do they really know who the person behind it?

If you are going to discuss Internet safety with your kids, make sure to cover the topic of ‘stranger danger’. Young Filipinos are in danger of falling in the trap of online predators. Many have been victims of ‘catfishing’. 

According to a government study, the Philippines has a tragically high rate of internet-based violence among children; 1 in 2 children is a victim of online violence. SaferKidsPH says among the worst types of violence are online exploitation and sexual abuse.

Be cyber-informed

To help tackle this problem, children in the Philippines must be educated on the risks and be aware of the actions to take when faced with danger online.

Educate your kids, siblings, or fellow parents. There are plenty of resources available to educate on the safe use of the internet. Twinkl has published a free online safety guidebook designed especially for parents and teachers in the Philippines to help keep children safe online.

Free education for children

There are online courses such as Stairway Foundation Inc.’s free cyber safety courses for kids. It’s important that kids are educated and trained on how to safely use the internet, this way they can make safe decisions when they are online.

Top tip: Younger children learn better through visual aids like posters or interactive activities and games. You can use Twinkl’s internet and phone safety multiple-choice quiz game to stimulate thinking actions to take during certain situations and check their knowledge.

What can you do to minimize the digital threats at home?

Explore child-friendly search engines search engine specifically designed for kids powered by Google. It offers safe web browsing for children as results are vetted by editors to filter out inappropriate content for kids.
Enable parental control on your children’s devices

The use of parental controls reduces the risk of your kids viewing inappropriate content online. You should also monitor your child's internet activity and use age-appropriate settings on devices in order to avoid digital threats. Here’s a guide on setting parental control on different devices.

Set time limits — screen time

It’s no doubt that the screen time for children has increased since the pandemic. It’s important that children develop healthy screen time.

Too much screen time can have a negative impact on children’s sleeping patterns, concentration, mental health and physical activity. That’s why it's important children are aware of the importance of taking regular breaks and using screen time optimally and effectively.

5 Important Internet Safety Tips to Teach Your Children

1. Do not post or share your personal details to strangers online.

Personal details include the child's school name, home address, bank account details, location, and full name.

2. Think before you accept and connect.

Only accept a friend request from people you actually know. You can never be sure whether the person you are talking online is really who they say they are.

3. You should never meet anyone you met online in person.

If someone asks to meet you, tell your parents, guardian or friends right away. Some people may not be who they say they are.

4. Never respond to horrible or rude posts or emails.

Think about your behavior as well. Be nice, do not be a bully. Unfriend or block anyone you find inappropriate, horrible, or bothersome.

5. Think carefully before posting and sharing a picture or video yourself.

You may be blackmailed in the future by anyone who has your personal photo or video.


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