What do your children mean to you

How parents can protect their children online

The digital world poses many challenges for parents and children when it comes to online security. Safe Germany online provides important information on protecting children online.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Children and young people spend an average of 2.4 hours a day online. With increasing age, the duration of use also increases. Parents have a special responsibility: They should ensure that their children B. are safe when surfing, playing, chatting or learning on the net. The DsiN tips for parents explain what to look out for.

  • Know and check digital whereabouts. With the almost infinite possibilities offered by the Internet, it is important for parents to keep track of their children's Internet behavior. It is even a legal part of their duty to care to protect the child from harm. Parents should therefore know which pages are regularly visited and for what purpose. What is on offer there? Who else is there? Are there any questionable advertisements or the like? If this is the case, parents should talk to their child about it and make the relevant pages and offers inaccessible in any case.
  • Create your own user interface for children. For the safety of the children, it makes sense to create their own user interface on the computer or for applications on the smartphone. In this area, families can adapt selected options and programs to suit their age and needs.
  • Use age-appropriate software. Regardless of whether it is used offline or online: For apps, games and other programs that children use, parents should keep an eye on the age approval recommendations of the independent self-regulation (USK) and only activate age-appropriate offers.
  • -Restrict downloads. Apps are often particularly appealing to children. To prevent uncontrolled download of apps, parents can also download the apps together with their protégés. There is also the option of locking and managing the installation of apps with a pin for Android or a password for iOS or via external applications.
  • Activate filter for search engines. With the deluge of information search engines come up with, it is important to protect children from unsafe content. These include, for example, adult photos and videos. Parents can therefore activate various filter functions in popular online search engines. This will prevent children from getting offensive results. Alternatively, there are also search engines specially designed for children.

    Caution: According to the operator, the filters are not always 100 percent reliable and therefore do not replace the fundamentally recommended attention of parents when children are online.
  • Limit the useful life. In order to ensure a healthy level of internet access, parents and their children should agree on rules for the duration of daily internet use. In the best case, this is done on the basis of trust. But parents can also use an app to monitor and regulate their offspring's internet usage. Links between the parents' and children's smartphones, which allow adults to access apps and the like of their protégés via their own smartphones, are also possible.

    Parents should always be aware of their role model function and pay attention to their useful life, especially in the presence of the child.
  • Educate about personal rights and data protection. Teach your child how sensitive personal data should be treated on the Internet. Posting personal information like private photos, full name, address, etc. can always pose a safety risk to your child.
    Here, too, it is important for parents to act as role models and to deal carefully with personal data on the Internet.
  • Speak openly about dangers. It is important to be open about online concerns and potential dangers in the family. Whether it is specific or general information on data protection - knowledge and a special sensitivity to risks on the Internet are a fundamental requirement for safe Internet use of the child.

DsiN-Link tips:

DigiBitS checklist for child safety online

DigiBitS cyberbullying checklist

The search engine fragfinn.de is especially suitable for children.

The USK (entertainment software self-regulation) evaluates online applications independently and provides information for families.

The Schau Hin! provides advice on the safety of your children on the Internet.

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