UN and partners marked February 11 as Safer Internet Day with focus on education for promoting better and more comprehensive online safety for children and the youth.

According to UNICEF, half of European children have online access in their bedrooms and a quarter 12-to-15-year-olds own a tablet, making them able to transact photos and videos without any training on the dangers of online activity.

92 percent of parents claim they have control over their children’s online activity while 34 percent of children claim the opposite. And only 30 percent of parents have installed parental control software despite the awareness of the technology by 85 percent.

On the other hand, a 2012 McAfee internet security specialist reveals that four-fifth of teenagers claim to have secret online activity, a fact that undermines parental claim of sustaining control over their children’s online behavior.

Sexting, bullying, unsolicited explicit content including various forms of sex and violence, and sexual approaches by strangers are known dangers of online activity for children that can intense in case that parents maintain no control over it.

An expert from International Telecomunication Union believes one reason children hide their online activities is fearing that their parents deprive them of the chance to continue having access to the net.

Therefore, he concludes that the answer to the problem is educating parents, teachers, and the youth on the dangers rather than restricting their access.

ITU will start collaboration with UN Children’s Fund and some tech industry partners such as Skype to improve trainings in online safety to parents and children in the coming year.

comments: Tue Feb 18, 2014 14:03 GMT
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