More parents in Singapore are worrying about their kids’ online habits. Are kids being bullied online? Are they disclosing too much of personal information to strangers on the internet? Would they get lured into meeting up with that creepy stranger they met online? Hope they are not downloading computer viruses? According to the Straits Times, these were some major parental concerns.
These findings were revealed as part of a survey conducted by security technology firm Norton. What is more worrying however, is that most parents aren’t doing anything to ensure that their child is safe on the internet.
Findings of the study in Singapore
Apparently, only one third of the parents in Singapore took steps to ensure that their children were protected from the dangers of the Internet. Surprisingly, about 71 % of parents allow their children to access the Internet before age 11.
However, only 39 % of those surveyed made sure their kids accessed the Internet with parental supervision. More than 400 parents, and a total of 1,000 adults were surveyed for these results.
More parents are waking up to the dangers online though, taking some form of action, than none at all.
Kids bullied online in Singapore
Cyberbullying is a chief worry amongst most parents surveyed. About 48 % of parents believed that their children were more likely to be bullied online than in the real world, like say a playground. 9 % of parents revealed that their child was a victim of cyberbullying last year.
“A concern for many parents is that cyberbullying doesn’t stop when their child leaves school – as long as your child is connected to a device, a bully can connect to them,” said Mr Gavin Lowth, vice-president for consumer business unit in Asia-Pacific and Japan at Symantec, which owns the Norton brand.
Dealing with cyberbullying
Cyberbullying occurs when your child is harassed, humiliated or threatened online through digital technology like emails, messages, social media websites, online forums or chat rooms. As parents, here are some things we can do to ensure that our child is safe online:
- No sharing of personal information online: Teach your child to never post or share personal details like full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names, credit card number, IC No. etc, or their friends’ personal information.
- Children should never share their Internet passwords with anyone, except for his parent. In case of young children, insist on knowing your child’s passwords.
- Encourage your children to talk to you about their life online. Make sure you listen, without judging.
- Keep the computer in a busy area of your house so that you can easily monitor its use, rather than allowing your child to use it in his or her bedroom.
- Set up filters and use parental control options in your child’s account. Tracking software can block inappropriate web content and help you check up on your child’s online activities.
- Encourage your child to tell you if they receive threatening or humiliating messages.
- In case your child is a victim of cyberbullying, advise her to not reply to any of those humiliating messages. Ask her instead, to save and document the harassing messages or pictures, for proof. Report the matter to the police.
- Block communication with cyberbullies; block his email address and mobile number. Alternatively, you might want to change your child’s email address or mobile number.
- If the cyberbully is identified, contact his or her parents or notify your child’s school if he is also a student there.
Also READ: Kids bullied online in Singapore
(Source: The Straits Times, HELPGUIDE.ORG)
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