“Cow” FROM THE WEEKLY ARCHIVE. – The youngest children should use the Internet only in the presence of their parents or guardians. Speaking honestly and making the Internet a great companion for games and entertainment, he emphasizes that it’s not just a world where useful content and pleasant people meet – says Małgorzata Pawlik, a longtime IT specialist. Early school education at Chrzanow Elementary School No. 10, now a teacher, has been educating students about the safe Internet for years.
Małgorzata Pawlik: At the moment, probably none of us can imagine our daily lives without access to the Internet. The time of the pandemic played an important role in the lives of children and adolescents. The network not only allows them to learn remotely, but also meets the needs of communication and entertainment with peers. However, online often increases the risk of encountering inappropriate content or electronic hacking. The network environment is full of threats, so in fact no user is completely safe there. We all hear about fraud, theft, psychological violence and even sexual harassment that is hidden from all internet audiences. Therefore, it is important to remember that caution and thoughtful action can reduce this risk. Informing children about keeping them safe online will help them avoid future dangers.
For example, once thrown on social media, it never dies. Internet users seem to know this, but they seem to downplay it.
– The moment we share our photo on social media, we practically lose control of it. Almost anyone, including the portal owner, can copy and archive them and use them in the future. Many memes or mock pictures have been created based on photos posted on the Internet. True, the Internet simply does not forget. It is also worth noting that what we publish in our profile can lead to real results – we are increasingly checked on the Internet by employers, employers or lenders. It is up to us what information other Internet users will receive. So let’s use the “privacy settings” option – let’s define what our friends can see and what will be available to everyone. Before publishing, it’s worth asking yourself: “Do I want a certain group of people to see this? The results?” . We especially protect photos and videos that show financial issues, place of residence, or children.
Materials about a child can be used illegally for financial or criminal purposes. Experts note that social media is often a search site for pedophiles, who regularly upload pictures of children and shop on closed Internet forums. It is estimated that up to half of the material collected by pedophiles comes from social networks. Note that the European Personal Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) allows administrators to send requests to delete our data (right to be forgotten).
Meanwhile, little and young children are walking in the network.
– The youngest children should use the Internet only in the presence of their parents or guardians. It is important to speak honestly and understand that the Internet is not only a great companion for games and activities, but also a world full of dangerous places, where only useful content and pleasant people can be found. Therefore, it is worthwhile to establish rules for the use of the Internet with the child, which regulate the time and scope of his rights, and then follow them consistently. It is mandatory to mention the topic of social media, which can be dangerous in the context of the child’s publication of content and friendship. Let’s not forget to talk openly about your child’s online experiences and arrange for them to inform us when they come across inappropriate content.
Which locks are better to use on children’s smartphones or tablets?
– For those with Android system, it is worth configuring Google Play, browser and YouTube application. It is also worth installing parental control software on devices used by children. This type of program allows you to filter content and monitor your child’s online time and activities. Such applications for tablets and smartphones are available in online stores that are compatible with a particular operating system. Some are free, others have to be paid.
Children often take disruptive photos and videos. When released into the net, they build a spiral of hatred, ridicule, and alienate them from their peers. How can this be prevented?
– We are talking about peer violence with the use of the Internet and mobile phones, ie. cyber violence. There are no forms of technical protection against cyber violence that a child can meet anywhere on the Internet. Therefore, first of all, it must be combated. This requires a common position of parents and teachers. The school plays an important role in this. From the first grade, we conduct preventive education classes, where we talk about online violence, hate and hate speech, and introduce children to the principles of netiquette (a set of rules of good behavior on the Internet). We teach the smart, responsible and valuable use of the media, especially the Internet, we teach empathy on the Internet, we organize debates, we carry out educational projects on this topic, we participate in various competitions, especially in connection with Safe Internet Day. We organize meetings with experts in this field, for example, teachers, trainers, therapists, psychologists and police. We conduct preventive classes in schools, but we also react to the manifestations of cyber violence – we have procedures when such a situation is detected.
The Internet is also full of unexpected content.
– Well, we go to the Internet portal to read an article or watch a video, and there are unexpected ads. How can they be blocked? Some ads can be disabled at the search engine level, while others require a special ad blocking program. Such programs often take the form of extensions in browsers (for example, uBlock Origin), but can also be a separate software that works with browsers.
How can you protect yourself from a flood of spam?
– The predominant part of spam, that is, in general, unwanted messages are advertising and promotional offers of various products and services that are harmless and simply litter our inbox. However, some messages are very dangerous for the user. When you download and open an application, for example, a malicious program is installed on your computer, its tasks can be very different. An updated antivirus program will protect you from catching a virus accidentally added to spam. If our email address is on the list of spammers, it is difficult to fight it.
Spam filters provided to users by a mail server service provider can help. There is a special folder in the mailbox called “Spam” where such messages are sent. Phishing is a common practice, ie showing the sender (banks, couriers, telephone operators, etc.), which directs you by clicking on the link. Go to the specially designed page to get access to your bank account.
What can we do to prevent accidental computer infections?
– If we see a suspicious message from unknown senders, do not open it, click on links or download files. We do not provide our email address where required. It is worth creating an additional account to manage on the Internet. The best protection is to use email wisely.
What do the members of our Facebook group BREAKTHROUGH think about using the Internet and electronic devices?
I try to postpone the moment when my children will have their own phone / tablet. They do not use such devices yet. I don’t know what happens when they go to school. I wonder how long they will be able to operate without these facilities?
My children watch their favorite fairy tales for 30 minutes a day and do not spend more time in front of any screen. We do not have a TV in our house and we have minimized the use of all appliances. I think children are smart enough to learn to use a computer or tablet in a day (for example, distance education).
Maybe the computer is just the weekend. An hour. In the middle of the week, he still asks questions: “Mom, is there a weekend tomorrow?”
The closure of schools forced Kachperek to do 15-20 minutes of homework a day in front of a computer. We rarely use YouTube, but if we do, only proven channels. Often they are tales to support language learning. I’m not against all this, but honestly.
My 3-year-old child watches for about 40 minutes a day. noon tales. After the fairy tales, we turn off the TV and it is completely accepted by him. I also have a one-month-old son, and I would like to stay away from television as much as possible, although it can be a bit difficult to do this with my older sister.
Where to seek help during threats related to the use of the Internet
Hotline for children and youth – 116 111
phone for parents and teachers regarding issues
child safety – 800 100 100
Saferinternet.pl – A project aimed at raising public awareness about the dangers posed by the latest communication technologies. Its priority is to educate children and parents, as well as to increase the skills of professionals in the field of safe use of the Internet.
Sieciaki.pl – An educational project implemented by the Children’s Strengthening Foundation within the “Children’s Internet” program. Its main element is a website for children aged 9-11 on the topic of child safety on the Internet. Find movies, games, songs, and educational materials for teachers and parents to download there. The website www.sieciaki.pl is based on Sieciaki’s adventures of children with special needs and their use in combating Internet threats.
Breakthrough Archive № 07/2021