Seminar 'Child Safety Online'

2013-12-13 | The Belgian Turkish Parents Association (Tovap) in Brussels organized a seminar on internet safety on the 12th of December 2013.

The seminar, an organization in partnership with Child Focus, was held by Astrid Pouppez. The expert started her speech by giving statistics on the use of internet by children. According to a study 25.000 children over 25 European countries are online. Children use the internet to make their homework, to play games, to share stuff on social media, to send an e-mail, to watch videos, to listen to music and much more. 80% of the children using internet announce they enjoy the internet, while most of the parents claim the contrary.

Not knowing the internet might cause concerns for the parents, since there is an information gap between generations. Pouppez explained basic terms to inform the parents. ‘Surfing’ means browsing the net searching for particular things. The user keeps jumping from one website to another. The risk of surfing is coming across tricky advertisements and wrong information. Besides this, parents should be careful for violent, adult and frightening information or images which their children can encounter while surfing.

Information that will be used for homework must be taken from minimally two different websites and should be compared to a written source. The best way to search for info is by using a search engine (e.g. Google). Children should be taught research methods to avoid copy-paste behavior. The filter function of the browser might be used to prevent unwanted images and information to pop up.

Pouppez explained that the best way to deal with this is to explain children that there are websites unfit for children. Parents should regularly ask their children which websites they are visiting. The age limit of certain games should be checked. Another point that the expert made was that spending too much time on the net might cause addictiveness. Clinics that treat for internet addictiveness can be found on www.cliniquedujeu.be. The most important measure to be taken is setting up family rules regarding the use of internet.
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