Polish children stand out from their European peers in terms of the number of laptops and smartphones owned. They are also at the forefront in terms of Internet access.
As many as 80% of Polish children have their own smartphone, and every second uses their own laptop. There are a number of risks associated with this: from pornography and gambling to hacker attacks and phishing of personal data. Parents are not entirely aware of them – the vast majority of them takes care of the child’s safety on the Internet, looking over his shoulder or controlling the time in front of the monitor, and only every fifth uses solutions for content filtering.
– Polish children are in the European lead in terms of Internet access, and 97% use it every day – the vast majority of them on their devices. We are also in the lead – next to Sweden – when it comes to the percentage of children who have their own laptops and use them themselves, very often in their own room. This is important because at the moment the child chooses the websites he is watching, he also has the feeling that no one else is looking at the laptop every day, so different things can happen – tells Newseria Biznes information agency Karolina Małagocka, an expert on privacy at F-Secure.
A report published by UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) at the end of last year showed that over half of Polish children have their own laptop – this is the highest score among all countries surveyed (Sweden, Great Britain, Germany and Spain). Polish children also have the most telephone calls compared to their peers from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, who have taken up new places.
Internet for children is the equivalent of a playground or playground. According to the “Safe smartphone for a child” study conducted by F-Secure and Polkomtel, the main activity of the youngest in social media is watching movies on YouTube. Importantly, 25% of internet users before the age of 9 have their own Facebook account, even though the minimum age allowing the use of the portal in accordance with the regulations is 13 years. Polish parents declare that they want to take care of their children’s safety online, but 69% try to do this by looking at the child over the shoulder or controlling the time, and only every fifth (22%) uses ready-made solutions to protect the child on the web or filter the content .
– This percentage has grown significantly in recent years, also thanks to the fact that such solutions are becoming more and more available and cheaper. On the other hand, unfortunately, the vast majority of parents still think that if they look over their shoulders from time to time, that’s enough. Adding to this information, that half of the children have their own laptop, and over 80 percent. own smartphone and uses it most probably in his room or school, when the adult does not look over his shoulder, this control is insufficient – emphasizes Karolina Małagocka.
Parents’ awareness of the risks the child may face on the internet is still insufficient – but it is getting bigger every year. This is confirmed by the fact that over 70% of parents declare that the child’s safety in the Internet is a very important topic for them. According to the study “Safe smartphone for a child”, 80 percent. parents have already talked about online safety with their children.
– Most parents declare that they talked to their child about online safety and it would be really fantastic if it was true. Unfortunately, when we start to ask for details, whether they use any content filters, or are aware of the fact that the child uses Facebook, the situation looks much worse. Most parents acknowledge that their child is already using Facebook – it also shows that awareness of threats is not full – says the F-Secure privacy expert.
The most common risks to which children can come across the network, among other things, violence, pornography, gambling. They are also exposed to the disclosure of private information, trial extortion money or the dangers of cybercrime.
– Our players should know what to expect. You need to talk to your child about how to behave online, the gradual implementation of the child in what and how he can use it. This will cause the child, when encountering a stranger who suddenly starts to write to him in the chat or e-mails, he will be distrustful, perhaps he will come to us and share this information – says Marek Nowowiejski, manager of services development at Plus.
It is good practice to determine with a young Internet user how long and at what times he can use the internet. With the current widespread access to social networks, it is also necessary to sensitize children about what content and information they share on their profile.
– Equally important as the conversation, the introduction of limits in the use of the Internet and the awareness of the child, is also the use of appropriate tools. This is the special smartphone software with a parental protection module that protects the child. There, we set appropriate access limits for the child, we allow the introduction of the night time, we provide the appropriate applications and block inappropriate ones, so that the child is safe – says Marek Nowowiejski.
Plus prepares an online guide for parents, which will contain content helpful in ensuring the safety of the child on the Internet and step-by-step instructions on what to do when it encounters a threat in the network.
– We will post information on websites about what a parent should do when a child turns to him with information that something is happening. We need to make sure that the child is safe, then we should carefully find out what the threat was, what the child was concerned about, how he reacted and make the decision accordingly and inform the relevant services. On the other hand, we should remember that this is a lot of confidence on the part of the child if he comes to us with such a problem – says Marek Nowowiejski.