Keeping Children Safe When Using Mobiles
We All Have a Responsibility to Keep Children Safe on Their Smartphones
One of the hottest topics for parents of young children is the appropriate age to give children their first smartphone. At present 10 is the average age for a child in the UK, but there’s significant pressure from children to make it lower. This may be because 34% of them have tablet with which they’ve accessed the internet from the age of 5, so the leap to a smartphone is a logical progression.
How Can Parents Actively Manage Online Risks With Children?
Parents are aware that once children have their own smartphone, protecting them online becomes more difficult. Given the complexity of online risks, however, a balance needs to be struck between allowing children their independence, and maintaining some supervisory control. On the whole parents are now well aware of the risks their children may encounter online. Many of them spend time working through them but they can’t control their children’s online activity 24/7.
- Blocking access to inappropriate sites
- Tracking the location of your child
- Limiting texts and chats to known circle
- Time limits for online access
- Encouraging children to set boundaries for their safety
- Ability to see who children are communicating with
Online Vendors and Site Owners Have a Responsibility Too
Parents may agonise over their child’s online safety, but they can only do so much. That’s why online sites also need to provide safeguards for young people exploring the complex online environment. Government regulation, in the form of the Digital Economy Act, is making it more difficult for children to access adult content online. And the Gambling Commission now requires gambling sites to carry out age verification at the point of opening an account.
There are numerous areas of online activity that require vendors to take responsibility. These include the purchase of tobacco, knives and alcohol. Age verification is the obvious solution, but it needs to work seamlessly. Providers of age checking software are aware that their task is to create software that doesn’t hold up, or deter, legitimate customers.
AgeChecked provides online age verification for websites that sell age-restricted goods and services.