Be safe, Be aware, have fun! Session 3

Modern technology has exposed children to a great deal of risk, this is seen from Childwise (2008) who state ‘90% of children aged 5-16 years now have a computer at home’. Should such action be taken to protect the youth of today? Is it not our job to protect them from the following:

  • Explicit, innapropriate content
  • Untrustworthy information
  • unwelcome contact from strangers
  • Online behaviour
  • Increased time spent using the computer, rather than investing such time for alternative activities
  • uploading information and not necessarily thinking about the long term effects it could have

It is difficult for the British Government to protect and as a result Tanya Byron has put together 3 main jobs that could be done in making working online safer:

  1. Make sure we teach children, parents, teachers about the risks of going online.
  2. working with technology experts who know how children develop.
  3. Agree on safety codes with so online web spaces are being seen to protect their users.

Should action be taken to have all the main games consoles to have clear safety information set out for the parents? At present two classification systems are used, which have different symbols to indicate the rating. However, it has been researched that such information has proved to be confusing with the consumer.

It is key that we allow young people to explore the internet! It is a great tool for learning and understanding, exploring and having fun! Therefore there should continue to be a push for innovative ways in order to reduce the potential risks. Prompts appearing on the screen when a games console is being set up, narrowing the search content children can look for, or giving schools/parents the opportunity to report back on games they saw as a risk are only a few ways this risk can be minimised.

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