Deborah Salmi

7 February 2012

Safer Internet Day 2012

Did you now that…

  • 26% of children report having a public social networking profile
  • 12% of European 9-16 year olds say they have been bothered or upset by something on the Internet
  • …however, 56% of parents whose child has received nasty or hurtful messages online are not aware of this

Today, in more than 70 countries worldwide, the ninth annual Safer Internet Day is being celebrated as part of a global drive to promote safer Internet usage for children and young people. This year's campaign, "Discover the digital world together…safely" is focused on connecting generations and educating each other. Tech-savvy youngsters can teach older generations how to use new technologies, while parents and grandparents draw on their life experiences to advise younger generations on how to stay safe online.

AVAST believes that education is a primary tool to staying safe on the web, and that by working together we can all stay safe online. Here are 6 key tips to help you guide the kids in your life to use the Internet safely:

  • Talk about the Internet and dedicate time to explore it together with the child. Ask the child to show them what he or she likes to do online, and try not to be shocked or overreact if they do not share the same interests.
  • Stimulate the child's creativity. Point them in the direction of the best online content to explore for their development (or just for fun). The child can learn and discover new sites, play games, write blogs, create websites. Stretch his or her imagination.
  • Set up rules or boundaries together. When/Where/Why and for how long can the child use their mobile phone or computer? If you listen to the child and establish fair rules, then he or she is more likely to stick to them.
  • Protect personal data and help the child understand that information or photos they put online can remain visible to everybody forever. Help them set up the highest level of privacy settings on social networks.
  • Think about using parental control tools to automatically filter certain topics (e.g. violence, porn) and limit the time the child will be able to navigate the web.
  • Avoid having a computer in the child's bedroom. Put it in the living room instead. It will make it easier to follow the child's web-surfing habits on a daily basis.


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