With the great supply of information that we offer to the great network of networks, something happens in which we lose control of the circulation of this data. In this scenario, at times we lose sight of the fact that boys and girls are also builders of their digital identity based on the same interactions they have on their own, given that they access electronic devices through the Internet from an early age.
There is a punctual action in adults that invites us to reflect on whether they are not the ones who begin to leave the first traces of the little ones through photos, videos or daily stories of their lives with the possible repercussions that this may have in the future.
Some terms of this practice of sharing are derived from here, it is called “sharenting” which derives from the English words sharing (sharing) and parenting (raising). There is also “oversharing” when the exposure is even greater. In this context, the first recommendation would be that the privacy of children should be validated under their consent to prevent them from feeling any kind of discomfort with what we upload and talk about them.
In addition to being aware of the possible risk of overexposing children’s data on the Internet. It is also extremely important to be vigilant about how much we should leave children’s browsing in games, applications and sites to chance. Like everything, understanding good practices entails learning for both adults and minors. It is crucial to maintain fluid communication with them and with the different environments of society.
Taking into account in a study carried out on boys and girls from 8 to 13 years old about changes in post-pandemic habits “3 out of 4 say they have their own cell phone” and the average age at which they begin to venture into social networks, the age decreases significantly at 6 years.
Cyber crimes such as grooming are so transcendental that in January 2020, the Microsoft company developed a technique for their detection through the Artemis Project. Of the total number of respondents, 82% say they use YouTube, 68% WhatsApp and, in third place, they find online games with 60%, just 3 points above Tik Tok, the video platform that takes 57%.
What makes a site more or less secure? There is no doubt that people are the main reason. It is crucial to forge a bond of trust with children instead of prohibiting or limiting the use of devices to the extreme so that their use is safe. It is preferable to take a minute and accompany them in the navigation of these sites to take advantage of the moment of teaching and learning. In this sense, the prevention and early detection of risk situations is key to reinforcing safe digital education for children and adolescents.
UNICEF stresses the need to protect the privacy and identity of children online. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks”, states Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. “No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence or illegal attacks on his honor and reputation.
“Children deserve specific protection of their personal data, since they may be less aware of the risks, consequences, guarantees and rights concerning the processing of personal data”, expresses the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.
Types of crimes
The largest number of cybercrime cases generally occurs when children are in their homes or environments that they consider safe. There are 2 main crimes:
Cyberbullying: It is based on sharing content that may be embarrassing for another child. Some examples of cyberbullying such as photo sharing; account hacking to impersonate one; harassment with unwanted messages or attempts at communication; threatens with sensitive material that could ridicule the victim; discrimination; massive withdrawal from networks, games or Whatsapp for no apparent reason. According to a survey conducted by Microsoft, at least 42% of kids who have been cyberbullied admit to feeling ashamed for sharing this without their consent.
Grooming: consisting of a crime in which an adult poses as a young person to deceive him, from which a bond of trust and empathy is established to obtain information, personal data, photos or videos that are later used for extortion or bullying.
This trust can last even weeks or months and often starts in online rooms as games. This relationship can be transferred to a face-to-face meeting with an outcome that can be very traumatic for the child and his environment.
Recommendations to protect minors
Reduce the risks together with a series of recommendations that range from very operational issues to providing the necessary accompaniment and support for children.
Along these lines, it is convenient to seek advice in order to deal with the issue from a preventive nature and from a care perspective so that possible inconveniences can be noticed from childhood and responsible use of the Internet is made based on the best possible Internet experience. Here are some recommendations for adults:
Five basic rules
There are 5 items when accompanying them during their journey online. That is why it is essential to talk with them about the importance of:
– Do not share personal data (real name, place of residence, age, educational establishment, schedules, extracurricular activities, etc.).
– Do not expose passwords by any means.
– Do not share photos of any kind.
– Warn about the possible dangers that some carelessness may have.
– Enable multiple authentication factors on all sites, apps and games.
What should adults do?
– Trust: establish a bond of trust with the boys and girls so that they feel an open environment in which they receive recommendations and that they feel able to tell what they are doing or what may be happening to a couple. This includes avoiding embarrassment when showing your cell phone to adults you trust the most.
– Secure use: accompaniment in the creation of your online profiles. In turn, share the moments of chats, games and navigation to know how they do it and with whom they interact.
– Device security: turn off location tracking for all apps and sites.
– Environment of trust: prevent them from hiding with the cell phone. Even if they have a conversation or class, ask them to do it in places where there are more people they know and trust.
– Review of data protection policies: It is necessary for parents or guardians to review the data protection policies and adjust the privacy settings of the applications and platforms that children use and update them frequently.
– Knowledge: Always know what applications, games and sites they browse, what information they request and what features they have (chat, images, voice and/or video communication). This even requires the identification of the logos and isotypes of the applications.
– Communication vs. Indoctrination: Isn’t it the best decision to ban the use of devices, because if you don’t use it at home, you will do it elsewhere, even in secret with less possibility of control by adults. For that, it is more key to build trust with the kids so that they feel comfortable and safe to use the devices with their closest adults.
– adults should at all costs avoid anger and penance to avoid the possible feeling of shame for feeling that perhaps they were wrong. On the contrary, opening dialogue and empathy are key in this process in case of having detected that there was contact with strangers.
– Under no point of view should the evidence that can be used for complaints and expertise be eliminated if a case of grooming is assumed.
In case of any doubt, it is a requirement to approach the boys, offer them a space of containment. In addition, resort to professional consultation or organizations dedicated to the prevention of crimes of this type such as Grooming. Posted by Wildwestdominio, news and information agency.