On the Internet, parents lose control over their children

New research from ESET has shown that parents feel more and more concerned about the inappropriate content that their children encounter on the Internet. 60 percent of respondents admit that they are worried about visiting children's porn sites, and 47 percent are concerned that their child can view gambling websites without their permission.

The results of research carried out by ESET may be troubling. It follows from them that parents do not know what their children are doing online and they do not control it in any way. Every third respondent asked by ESET answered that he did not know what time his child stopped using a computer connected to the network at night. It is not surprising then that the same parents openly admit that they are afraid of their children's contact with pornographic content or online gambling. The results of the research should give food for thought to Polish parents as well. According to the results of another study - EU Kids Online - in Poland, 98% of the surveyed children log into the network at least once a week, and 74% daily. Such frequent use of the Internet exposes children to access inappropriate content.

Interestingly, the surveyed parents, despite their fears, mostly (70%) trust that their children use the Internet responsibly. Sylwia Żbik-Weiss, a psychologist and psychotherapist, agrees with this part of the respondents.

Despite many threats that are waiting for a child on the internet, we can not forget that the Internet is part of our world and has many positive sides. It is a source of knowledge, fun or a way to communicate with others. Banning access to the Internet is a temporary solution, because the child will still have access to it at school or at his / her acquaintances. So it is better to teach the child responsible and safe use of resources that is a global network so that he can feel safe - says Sylwia Żbik-Weiss, psychologist and psychotherapist .

Kamil Sadkowski, a computer threat analyst from ESET, points out that the key aspect of effective supervision of the child's activities on the web is to have regular and honest conversations with him during which computer and Internet rules should be established. The expert also advises that younger children allow the use of the network only in the presence of parents. Those parents who are afraid that they will not control their children's activity on the network, can additionally secure the computer with one of the available security packages on the market with the parental control function. In a similar way, you can protect your smartphone and tablet by installing a protection application that blocks the ability to send and receive MMS messages from unknown people. The respondents would like to use the last solution - 79 percent of respondents would be happy to choose the option of blocking access to social media for children, eg when they are doing homework.

It happens, however, that prevention is too late. So what should a parent do, whose child has been exposed to inappropriate content on the Internet or experienced online violence?

Above all, we should listen to the child and explain how it happened. If it does not help the child to understand the whole situation, if he reacts nervously or anxiously, we must go to a specialist - preferably a psychologist or pedagogue. We should also inform the relevant services about the whole event so that this procedure will not be repeated, protecting our own and other children - adds Sylwia Żbik-Weiss .

The research carried out by ESET was conducted via an online survey and 441 parents living in the UK took part.

Sylwia Żbik-Weiss

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