How To Help Protect Yourself and Children in an Potentially Harmful Virtual Environment
An increasingly digital world means more online spaces, allowing a myriad of people to access information and different communication methods. However, this does not guarantee it will always be safe, as it is possible to connect with people who may not have the best intentions.
Safer Internet Day comes into play in order to discuss such issues, established with the aim to raise awareness on concerns surrounding the potential safety problems arising online. As such, this date also aims to develop supporting online relationships. For 2022, SID will focus on developing safer environments for young internet users, especially on online communication and gaming platforms. To help with this, Messenger has published a guide on how to make sure children are engaging with people online in a safe manner.
This guide contains a list of tips to help avoid potential online conflicts children may have, and include the following:
- Get Talking – This means parents should discuss how relationships and communication online can occur, and how this process may evolve over time.
- Set your Boundaries – This means enabling settings in Messenger to adjust how messages are received, and how an online status is communicated
- Take Control of Your Inbox – This means looking at the various tools on hand to control who messages you, including blocking, reporting, and muting contacts.
- Decide What Works For You – for this, Messenger opted to deliver a visual flow-chart, highlighting the different options available if conversations are either uncomfortable or harmful, with the aim of wanting children to discuss their options with their parents first.
The inclusion of these tips online are important, as they offer parents the opportunity to ensure their children are engaging with people safely online. The usage of Safer Internet Day also helps parents to continually update settings online, as well as check on their children’s overall digital health. With online communities constantly changing and evolving, there needs to be boundaries set in what can be considered comfortable, but the way people interact online needs to be done in a healthy manner as well.
[Creds: The Headteacher]
As stated earlier, digital platforms can be a great resource for communication. Given their wide reach and accessibility, anyone could have the potential to communicate with who they want to, whenever they feel like. However, using these platforms will need careful navigation, and will result in a myriad of problems if they aren’t addressed.
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