Securing the safety of children online
This has always been the biggest concern of any parent wanting or allowing their children to be online. In fact, as soon as the internet was made available in the UK for general use, it was exploited by a sub-culture of individuals sharing pornography, and exposed to us the frightening number of paedophiles living amongst us.
Before the internet, we had no idea what and who was out there. Not many of us had ever met anyone who perpetrated such vial human behaviour or even knew someone who had been a victim of it. Due to the internet’s popularity amongst good citizens as well as bad, it’s difficult to find someone who hasn’t been exposed to some sort of internet filth.
Let’s begin with a brief history.
Dial-up-internet as it’s called was first introduced in the UK by a company called Pipex way back in March 1992, and by November 1993 provided Internet services to 150 customer sites. Today in 2013, with a global population of 7.1 billion people, 39% of people which is 2.769 billion people (2769000000 people!) now use the internet with 77% of this figure being in the developed world.
Almost immediately, the internet was exploited by users uploading and sharing pornography. The laws protecting users of the internet are only applicable country by country, so it’s quite possible for someone in the UK to be exposed to something illegal in this country, but very legal in another, and there is nothing to stop our users from being exposed to it.
History over, how do we protect our children from such content?
We begin first by identifying the risks in the form of a list, detailing the problem and tackling the points one by one.
- Inappropriate contact: protect from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them.
- Inappropriate conduct: because of their own or others online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public. They may also become either targets or perpetrators of cyber bullying.
- Inappropriate content: being able to access sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material.
- Commercialism: directing aggressive advertising and marketing material at children.
- Children gaining access to your own personal information stored on your computer.
- Children enabling viruses and spyware by careless or misinformed use of your computer.
With this list in mind, there are several ways to help protect your children online. You can enable rules on your Router to allow / disallow certain content, web pages, web sites etc., you can enable firewall rules on your computer, make use of parental controls on your internet browser, install good quality content filters, pop-up blockers and spam filters. You can consider using a child friendly home page in your internet browser. You can learn the chat room language and log on yourself to monitor what they are doing. You can set administrator permissions on your computer and allow / disallow your children access to certain programs, data and protect your sensitive information such as bank details, PIN numbers etc.
If you require further assistance please call 01858 455426 and one of our qualified technicians will be more than happy to help.
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