The AFP and the eSafety Commissioner are calling on parents, carers and educators to start this new school year by having these important conversations with children. As soon as you hand a child a device, please talk to them about the do’s and don’ts of the online world, while still letting them know they will be supported if anything goes wrong.
In today’s digital age, children are increasingly exposed to a wide range of apps designed to entertain and educate them. While many of these apps are safe and beneficial, there are some that can be dangerous and harmful to children. One such app that has recently come under scrutiny for its potential danger is Amigle. There are many apps that parents/caregivers need to be aware of and this can be found on the esafety commission website.
One of the main dangers of social networking/gaming apps is the potential for cyberbullying. As with any social networking app, users can send messages and comments to each other, and this can sometimes lead to hurtful or abusive behaviour. Amigle’s secrecy feature in particular can make it easier for bullies to target their victims.
Another danger of apps is the risk of children being exposed to inappropriate content. Whilst apps may have a reporting feature that allows users to flag inappropriate content, this feature is not always effective in preventing harmful content from being shared.
Cyber safety is an important consideration for children of all ages, including those under 5. Here are some tips for keeping young children safe online:
- Supervise your child’s internet use: Children under 5 should never be left alone with a device that has internet access. Parents and caregivers should always be present and actively supervise their child’s online activities.
- Limit screen time: It is important to limit young children’s screen time and ensure that the content they are accessing is appropriate for their age.
- Use child-friendly apps and websites: Choose child-friendly apps and websites that are age-appropriate and have appropriate content. There are many educational apps and websites that are specifically designed for young children and can help them learn and develop new skills.
- Disable in-app purchases: Many apps and games include in-app purchases that can quickly add up and result in unexpected charges. To avoid this, disable in-app purchases on your devices.
- Keep personal information private: Teach young children to keep their personal information private such as their full name, address, and phone number. They should also be taught not to share this information with strangers online.
- Use parental controls: Most devices have parental control features that allow parents to restrict access to certain content and limit the amount of time their child spends on a device. Make use of these features to keep young children safe online.
- Be aware of cyberbullying: Even young children can be victims of cyberbullying. Talk to your child about what cyberbullying is and encourage them to come to you if they ever experience it.
In summary, by supervising, limiting screen time, using child-friendly apps and websites, disabling in-app purchases, keeping personal information private, using parental controls and being aware of cyberbullying, parents and caregivers can help keep young children safe online.
Here’s some easy guides to get you started:
🔗Social media starter kit for when your child is beginning to sign up to social media: Click Here
🔗Gaming, devices and what you need to know: Click Here
🔗The eSafety for kids guide: Click Here
🔗Fact sheet on preventing online child sexual exploitation: Click Here
🔗Our eSafety Toolkit for schools: Click Here
(Source AFP, 2023)