Conscious Internet surfing

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Risks that children may be exposed to when using the internet

Learning the use of the internet is an inevitable chapter in our children' lives. Be there when they take the first steps! Explore together the websites and find out what is interesting for them. Small children are mainly interested in thematic child sites: music, videos, games while more mature children may be interested in community sites, blogs, forums.

Let us discuss with our children that not everything is true that they may read in the internet : many things have various angles that are worth checking. Let us make them aware: just because a website looks great the content is not necessarily true. There are sensational but false internet news, called " hoax" (fake news, urban legends) that operate with seemingly factual background - without the trace of truth in them. Let us call their attention to spam messages: sensational offers and personal tone are only designed for phishing. Spam filters can effectively block spams and most free email programs include that feature. A special type of spam is the so-called Nigerian letter: the senders offer astronomical profit for sending them a minor advance payment (naturally you can say goodbye to your money).

Let us call their attention that file downloading - besides causing potential damage to the computer - can be crime if they download illegal content. One may shop in webshops: in such cases it is recommended to pay with a webcard and you may use certain popular services (like PayPal) that offer a certain degree of guarantee for the transaction.

With regard to chat rooms and programs let us make our children aware that people sometimes take false identities. In case of detecting any ambiguous, rude, racist, warmonger language they should turn to the chatroom moderator or they can report the case with clicking on the panic button (saferinternet.hu, blue-line.hu) on the website. During such conversations one must avoid disclosing personal data (address, telephone number), photos, videos or live pictures.

Before setting up their social media profile it is worth clarifying certain issues. All content uploaded to the internet stays there so one has to think twice before sharing anything. Our children should know that personal data (address, telephone number) must not be shared because they can be misused (e.g. phishing). The same applies to sharing your geographical location. One should use passwords that are hard to find out and passwords must not be disclosed to anyone. It may happen that - knowing your password - someone logs in your profile and uploads comments, photos or videos. Upon registration it is important to set the data protection options in the website to regulate who can see one's data - it is good to know that this can be set in the case of each uploaded photo and video. Content that we think is harmful has to be reported to the site operator. This might be clear for us but it is not clear for our children: our online life is real if it comes to responsibility . Online activities are not virtual, online discussions can be continued after logging out from the site.

An extreme example is cyberbullying, often triggered by uploading provocative, erotic photos, videos or offensive language. In such cases hostile comments, sexual offers, bullying or segregation may continue in real life and school. This is a very dangerous process: isolated children may become depressed and may think about suicide. If parents are lucky enough the bullied child tells everything and parents may help. One should be suspicious if a child avoids certain communities, does not want to go to school or is depressed without good reason - always find out the reason.

With regard to harassment it is worth preparing our child to the following: It is important that they do not panic: they must not answer the harasser, rather, they should save a printscreen as an evidence of the harassment. There are websites (kek-vonal.hu, saferinternet.hu) where one can click on a so called panic button: if children are threatened in the internet they may report the harassment and seek help by clicking on the button. It is important that children share these problems with their parents who may try to resolve the issue by way of contacting the harasser's parents and school. It is also imperative that parents appreciate their child's trust - whatever is the reason of the harassment - and do not punish them for what happened.

Telekom's professional partner organization - Mobilsuli - prepared a survey to help parents and children: Mobilsuli survey(PDF, 99,6 kB) . While filling in the form various problems, issues may arise that no one thought of previously. It is worth reading and answering the questions together

 

How technology can help?

 

Safe use of content requires to make the device - TV, computer, smart phone - safe as well. Telekom uses its best efforts to help parents in this respect. Our services include various filtering programs.

Once we use a computer it is essential to have a solid firewalland antivirus software. In the case of the latter it is important to regularly update the program. Data protection includes password management: one must never use simple passwords that are related to our personal data and are easy to find out. Telekom's internet safety service includes an antivirus and firewall software as well as a spam and content filter solution.

In order to protect children it is worth installing a – free filter program that blocks adult content. With the use of the inbuilt parent control function parents may block unwanted websites.