A report released today by the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield entitled Growing Up Digital has stated that children are left to “fend for themselves” against the pitfalls of being on the internet such as online bullying or grooming.
Ms Longfield stated “The internet is an incredible force for good, but it is wholly irresponsible to let them roam in a world for which they are ill-prepared”. It is felt that social media applications in particular have a wealth of difficult to understand Terms and Conditions which leaves children unsure as to what they’re signing up for, including “hidden clauses” waiving privacy rights and allowing content children have posted to be sold.
One of the recommendations in the report was that children should study “digital citizenship” to learn about their rights and responsibilities online, so they are prepared for online activities. At Aire Media we’re passionate about online safety and offer a variety of training sessions for children and their parents. We feel it is really important that children are given the tools to harness the full potential of all the wonderful things the internet has to offer whilst maintaining their own safety.
Our rules for online safety remain: –
- Take note of age regulations on social media platforms. Whilst they seem arbitrary, we believe that children aged 13+ are much more emotionally equipped to deal with online safety than a younger child.
- Always go through the Terms and Conditions of new sites your children are signing up to with them and ensure both you and they understand the clauses they are agreeing to.
- Always make sure your child has their privacy settings as high as possible.
- Keep dialogue open with your children – ensure they feel comfortable in discussing what they’re doing online with you.
We wrote an in-depth piece on social media safety entitled SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CHILDREN FRIEND OR FOE. If you would like to talk to us more about what we can offer in terms of advice for children or how we can work with parents to ensure they’re fully versed in keeping their children as safe as possible on social media, please get in touch with us.
The Growing up Digital Report can be read in full HERE.