On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, here are the best tips and the vademecum to protect our children from the risks and dangers of the Internet
Safer Internet Day
11 February 2020 is celebrated in 100 countries around the world on Safer Internet Day, the world day dedicated to the online safety of minors which this year is dedicated to the theme “Together for a better internet“. Three out of 4 children or pre-adolescents (6-14 years) in Italy attend the Net, developing a great familiarity with the Internet which becomes almost absolute among 15-24 year olds (94%). They surf above all to communicate with messages Whatsapp, Skype, Viber or Messenger (92% between 14 and 17 years old), or using online applications also to make calls and video calls (81%), but there are far fewer who use the web to read newspapers or magazines online (about 40%).
But how many teenagers they use the web to follow or join causes with a social, civic or political background and do they actively engage themselves even beyond the network? Save the Children responded with its latest survey “Like the squares: young people and civic participation onlife”Through some focus groups in schools and an online spontaneous response survey promoted among adolescents.
Save The Children data
Only 1 in 3 adolescents (about 30%) is not registered or is not part of any group or association,
1 in 6 attends school groups
1 out of 6 is enrolled in voluntary social associations or religious associations or groups.
Membership in cultural associations or associations for environmental protection is around 7%, while membership in associations for international cooperation or for the protection of human rights, or in movements, political parties or citizens’ committees is around 4%. of the respondents.
For 67% of adolescents, social networks represent the channel on which they get information and take action on the social, civic or political issues of greatest interest to them, followed by school (65%).
Among the themes that most attract the interest of boys and girls are:
climate change and environmental protection (60%),
the fight against discrimination, bullying and stereotypes (53%),
school problems and children’s rights (18%).
A good part of the young people interviewed strive to spread this information online mainly through the “like” (about 45%) or by sharing it on their wall or profile (46%), while 1 in 20 (6%) takes an extra step and contributes by creating new content on the web on the issue in question, and a small 4% even write an appeal or a petition to collect signatures to reach a set goal.
This digital activism, which has been defined as a “Lazy activism”, it does not concern young people: more than half of young people active online also translate their commitment into direct citizenship actions, to concretely change things, by participating in awareness raising events or collective mobilization related to the topic of interest.
The example of the parents, and in particular that of the figure maternal, seems to have a positive effect on the decision to take physical action for social, civic or political causes known online. Teenagers with a active mother on these causes, are more likely to be enrolled in voluntary associations (41%) than those with a mother who is not actively engaged socially or politically (27%), and 81% of those who said they never moved from the online dimension to the real one has a mother who is not active on these issues. Another important factor in this sense seems to be the abitudine to the reading of books by children.
57% of those who participate “often” and 47% of those who participate “sometimes” even physically in events that they have followed online, in fact declare that they have read more than 3 extracurricular books in the last year, against 9% and the 12%, respectively, of those who have not read even one.
n this day an important thought is always addressed to adults: we use the Internet respectfully and safely, to create a better Internet for our childrenthe. But what can we parents do to protect our children from the risks of? With the cry of “Together for a better internet”, let’s see how to make sure our children are safe online!
7 ways to protect minors on the web
Ermes Cyber Security (startup of the Polytechnic of Turin) and the psychotherapist Alberto Rossetti have drawn up a vademecum on the correct behaviors to be adopted to protect young people from the dangers of the web. 7 useful tips to protect our children who use the internet:
Always keep up to date
To better face the threats of the web and protect minors, it is always necessary to stay up to date. You don’t have to be a computer technician to learn about new platforms, social networks or new, sometimes dangerous, online fashions. A little bit of sound information on web and print newspapers of the sector is enough to know what today’s kids are going through.
Do not expose minors with photos on social media, which are accessible to everyone
What is uploaded to social networks is no longer yours. This should be the initial sentence of any social network subscription contract. In fact, everything uploaded to online platforms becomes the property of the company that manages it. Similarly, too often such photos and content are not protected by a correct level of privacy and easily become public, exposing children and young people to the eyes of criminals and malicious people.
Protect children’s devices with strong passwords
Help kids protect themselves by letting them understand the value of using complex passwords for social media accounts or video games connected to the Internet. The password must contain, for example, 8 to 10 characters, with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
Stay away from phishing
Another of the many traps on the web is phishing, or direct and personalized communications that hide malicious links inside to steal data and passwords. This happens via email but also through social networks, widely frequented especially by young people, which are a mine of personal data and opportunities for hackers. It is therefore important to explain to children not to click or spread dubious links, chains or requests for help, especially when they are written in shaky Italian. Teach them to ask adults for help or to phone their friends to ask for confirmation on the content from them …