Use of an electronic device is a growing part of day to day life, especially for children and teens. Using devices for homework, online gaming, and socialising are among the most favoured activities.
It seems there is a lack of common understanding when it comes to protecting our children and teens when they are using electronic devices. Given that electronic devices can be used all over the world, cultural differences and differing social standards present challenges when creating regulations with regards to appropriate behaviour.
Children and teens can encounter a number of risks when using an electronic device. Some potential dangers include threats to their personal safety, accidentally violating laws, cyber bullying or harassment, scams, grooming or sexual harassment and exposure to inappropriate content.
A parent’s ability to protect their children and teens when using the internet is a challenge. Whilst parents are responsible for their children’s safety they must also respect the need for privacy and growing independence. Even if parents are unsure of how their children use the internet they must talk to their children about staying safe and exploring parental controls or filters. Parents are increasingly aware of getting the balance of activities right.
As many hotels and resorts provide public electronic devices and free public Wi-Fi, there are some safety measures that can be put into place to assist parents in keeping their children safe. Some of these steps include:
- Setting up parental controls and filters on all devices.
- Providing family friendly Wi-Fi. Your hotel can provide family friendly Wi-Fi that provides filtering of an industry standard, and all access to pornography, potential child abuse websites and material are blocked.
- Installing parent protection apps on all electronic devices. By doing so devices can be locked during certain times, messaging can be monitored and you can be alerted if children try and access a blocked site.
- Set up location tracking on the electronic devices through GPS.
Keeping children safe online or at least managing the situation may feel like an enormous task, but you don’t need to be an expert on the internet. Understanding the risks involved when using the internet and how children use it is vitally important.
Emma Lambert, Communications Officer, <span class=”notranslate”>Worldwide Kids</span>