4 May 2021
Are you worried that your child is safe online? I am too! And we are not alone.
Online safety of children is increasingly a matter of great concern - and with good reason. Children are exposed to a wide range of internet dangers, including cyberbullying, cybercrime, sexual abuse, and internet addictions. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a parent of two girls, 8 and 14, child cyber-safety has been an issue close to my heart for some years now. As an educator and researcher, my work has focused on the impacts of new media and new technologies on society, especially the negative impacts that we don't often see immediately - or don’t want to see. Child cyber-safety is one of these issues.
A February 2021 Google survey on online safety of children in the Asia-Pacific revealed that while cyber-risks had increased in 2020 due to Covid-19, 1 in 5 parents in Singapore had done nothing to keep their children safer online.
What is encouraging, though, is that more parents are becoming aware of the dangers:
In the same survey 58% of parents expressed increased concern about their children's online safety during the pandemic.
The top parental concerns were:
Safety of the child's information
Children receiving unwanted attention from strangers
Children seeing inappropriate content online
Increased awareness is good news, as awareness is the first step to action. This brings us to the topic of cyber-parenting, which refers to strategies, decisions, and rules about how your children use digital devices and interact online. Like any other aspect of parenting, the end-goal is your child's safety, health, and well-being – physical, mental, and emotional.
There is a lot to learn and cyber-parenting can seem daunting, but it doesn't have to be. CyberCognizanz has a range of knowledge resources to help you get started with your cyber-parenting journey.
Check out our Cyber-Parenting Netizens page to get a free copy of the Cyber-Parenting Cheat Sheet so that you can get started with your own cyber-parenting action plan!
Sign up for our mailing list if you're interested in knowing more about cybersafety best practices, and drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in our Cyber-Parenting Series.
Till next time, stay safe!
Dr. Anuradha Rao