Your children online: 7 things to watch out for

by ErikBe the first to know07/02/2017

Your children online: 7 things to watch out for

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Together with Child Focus, we work every day to make the Internet a safer place for our kids!

Something which is not unimportant in these digital times. Because did you know that our children spend an average of about 12 hours a week online? They scour the Internet for games and films, but are also increasingly using apps such as Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Pokémon GO.

But apparently not all our offspring are equally careful when doing so. That's why we would like to give your kids a few good, useful tips:

  1. Think before you post something online

    Once something is on the Internet, it's difficult to remove it. In other words, it's completely different than saying something in passing to your friends in the playground. What's more, many more people than you would think can see your message. Including those with less good intentions.

    So think twice before sharing something via the social media or other websites. For example, it's best not to post that bikini pic from your last holiday, a sexy selfie or your new address online. Even an online slanging-match or an insulting response on a news site is a bad idea. Just imagine if your teacher, mum or dad or even your future boss were to see it all? Embarrassing!

  2. Don't add someone to your contacts list just like that. Especially if you don't know the person in question

    A golden rule: until you've actually met the person in question, never give him or her details such as your address or telephone number. Because you never know who's really behind that online person. That lovely girl who claims to be the same age as you could just as likely be an adult man.

  3. And you don't webcam with just anyone either

    Here too you don't know who's at the other end of the webcam. What's more, you don't have any control over what that person will do with the images later on. Who knows, he or she might just put them online somewhere.

    For that reason it's truly not a good idea either to take saucy selfies and share them with others.

  4. Don't believe everything you see on the Internet

    There's a huge amount of information on the Internet. For example, you can find blog articles, photos, news articles and videos about almost everything under the sun. But is all that information true?

    The answer is no. So think more than twice about what you see. Especially if it's all too good to be true. Such as winning an iPhone just like that. That doesn't happen when you walk down the street, does it?

    If you need to do a talk, say, make sure the information is objective. Personal websites with the creator's own opinions aren't good sources. Also, check whether the page is recent and always read up on the same subject on a second or third website.

  5. Don't share your passwords with others

    View them in the same way as a toothbrush: you don't just share that with others, do you? Not even with your best friends or your family. Also be sure to change your passwords regularly so no-one can crack them.

    Incidentally, do you know what a good password looks like? Well, combine lower-case letters and upper-case letters with numerals and symbols. And the longer the password, the better!

  6. Seen something strange? Tell your parents

    Sometimes you might see something strange on the Internet. For example, a site that encourages anorexia or approves of racism.

    Come across something online which really won't do? Then talk about it with an adult. Not only can that person give you some explanations, but he or she can also help you take the page or message offline.

  7. And is someone being bullied online? In that case, react.

    Because cyberbullying is just as bad as bullying at school. So help to combat it. Report what you've seen online to the website or Child Focus. And help the victim by, for example, seeking help together from an adult.

    Are you being bullied yourself? Then begin by blocking the bullies. You can do so not only on Facebook and in your mailbox, but also on your mobile. Gather evidence and talk about it with an adult.

Internet: safe & fun!

We now want to make as many children as possible aware of these dangers on the Internet. That's why, twice a year, 135 of our employees volunteer to give a course to fifth- and sixth-year pupils in their primary school. Through a fascinating and interactive workshop, they teach youngsters to think about their online behavior.

On 7 February (Safer Internet Day) we increase the awareness of more than 12,000 children in this way. We do this in collaboration with Child Focus and Microsoft.

Need some more information? Then be sure to check out the website of ClickSafe, the prevention portal site of Child Focus.

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