The internet is an ever-growing network of information. Although only a small percentage of it is accessible to us, what is available can be easily viewed by anyone, even younger users, which begs the question, what is there online that we should protect children from and what laws have been instated?
What should we be protecting children from?
As mentioned above, so much can already be accessed on the internet, even by children who are just learning to read and write, these include:
- Explicit material
- Drug use
- Addictions (electronic entertainment)
- Underage gambling
And that’s not all, it is also easy to communicate with complete strangers online these days. So children must also be protected from:
- Grooming / Paedophilia
If you suspect your child is engaged in anything of the sort, please monitor their internet activity and contact their schools.
Some current laws we have instated for child protection are as follows:
- As of 2012, it is now illegal to sell video games with a ’12+’ rating to anyone that is younger than 12.
- The Byron Review Act – (2008)
- The Pan European Games Information (PEGI) Rating System
If you’re a guardian still worried about what your kids are doing online, you can also take actions into your own hands. With technology evolving, you now have child-proof settings that we can customise to what you feel is suitable.
- Software and hardware control methods
- Password protection
- Lock the mouse / controls
- Or taking away the physical wires or controllers.
Video Game Addictions:
Somewhat related, but it is also worth noting that there has been a large increase of children that have been medically diagnosed as being addicted to video games.
- Almost 9 percent of child gamers are either pathologically or clinically addicted to playing video games.
- 23 percent of youth have said they have felt “addicted to video games”.
- One-third of males and a little more than one in ten females reporting the sensation.
- Teens age 13 to 18 years play 14 hours of video games per week.
The purpose of this post is to educate, please ensure your child’s safety on the internet.