Safety of children on the Internet: recommendations for teachers and parents

parents about the competencies of safe behavior in the digital environment. Safety of children on the Internet: recommendations for teachers

Safety of children on the Internet: recommendations for teachers and parents
Safety of children on the Internet: recommendations for teachers and parents

Due to the growing number of cases of unsafe behavior of children, in particular due to the influence of social networks on the Internet, there are some developed recommendations for additional preventive measures by educational institutions among children and informing parents about the competencies of safe behavior in the digital environment. Safety of children on the Internet: recommendations for teachers and parents.

The digital environment, in particular the Internet, is today not only an important source of information, but also a means of communication that eliminates barriers to communication. Due to the global impact of COVID-19, children are spending more and more time online.

We note that the child's right to safety and protection is basic and extends to his life both online and offline. At the same time, not every child has a sufficient level of knowledge about the existing risks in the digital environment and skills of safe behavior in the digital space. Children have the right to receive knowledge and support using the digital environment. Providing such support is a shared responsibility of parents, educators, and the community at large. Involving parents in the educational process, establishing effective partnerships will contribute not only to the effective achievement of learning outcomes, but also to the formation of a safe educational and family environment for the child.

Communication in cyberspace has its own characteristics. Thus, information and communication technologies are an important tool in the lives of children during education, socialization, self-realization. At the same time, their uncontrolled and irresponsible use contains risks to the health, development and well-being of children, in particular:

  • Contact risks (sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment (grooming, abuse), online recruitment of children to commit crimes, participation in extremist political or religious movements or for the purpose of human trafficking);
  • Content risks (degrading and stereotypical portrayal and over-sexualization of women and children; portrayal and promotion of violence and self-harm, including suicide; derogatory, discriminatory or racist expressions or incitement to such behavior; advertising, adult content);
  • risks of conduct (intimidation, harassment and other forms of harassment, distribution without the consent of sexual images, blackmail, hate speech, hacking, gambling, illegal downloading or other infringements of intellectual property rights, commercial exploitation);
  • Health risks (overuse leads to sleep deprivation and physical harm).

All of the above risks are not exhaustive, are constantly updated and can negatively affect the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of the child.

Thus, Internet challenges and "death groups" have become one of the entertainments among teenagers on social networks, which, in particular, in the absence of competencies for safe behavior in the digital space, can lead to irreparable damage to the health and life of the child.

Challenge is a genre of Internet videos in which a blogger performs tasks on a video camera and places it online, and then offers to repeat the task to his acquaintance or an unlimited number of users. The word challenge itself is usually translated as "challenge" in the context of the phrase "challenge."

The most dangerous in recent years have been challenges:

"Fire challenge";

"Falling in a jump" (Tripping jump challenge);

"Break-skull-challenge" (Skull-breaker challenge);

"Poisoning with washing capsules" (Tide pods challenge);

"Momo suicide challenge";

"Suffocation / fainting / loss of consciousness" (Choking / fainting / pass-out challenge);

"Controlled shortness of breath";

"Socket explosion" (Outlet Challenge);

"Jump out of the car" (Drake "In My Feelings");

"I'm out of consciousness" (Pass out prank, Shocking games), etc.

The viral nature of the spread of these challenges allows them to spread rapidly and continue to exist despite the mortal danger. Maintenance and content control services on popular social networks do not always detect and block content that calls for dangerous actions in a timely manner. However, any user, noticing content that may endanger the lives and safety of others, can contact the site administration with a complaint and save someone's life.

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In view of the above, it is necessary to form the competencies of children, parents and educators on safe behavior in the digital space and the potential danger of irresponsible attitude to the use of the Internet, public culture intolerance of violations of rights, freedoms, child safety in general and in the digital environment. Thinking during the perception of information and teach the rules of information hygiene to prevent the impact of such risks and children in dangerous situations.

Adolescents (12-17 years old) need the most attention to prevention, as it is a stage of active formation of self-esteem, interests, moral ideas, social attitudes and the need to communicate with peers. The teenager seeks new experiences and vivid emotions, learns what he is capable of and demonstrates his uniqueness to everyone, and social networks become a platform for him to gain recognition and self-affirmation. However, the unformed psyche, emotional instability due to the large flow of information,

Possible social failures and the desire to escape from real problems, forced isolation during quarantine reduce the criticism of adolescents to their chosen behaviors. Due to their age, teenagers try to separate from their parents, step aside and find themselves. If this is not possible, teenagers begin to lose interest in life, not giving themselves the opportunity to find other solutions. Such adolescents are the most vulnerable group to dangerous challenges and "death groups."

When organizing preventive measures, the reverse effect of information should be taken into account in order to prevent - the dissemination of information increases in proportion to measures aimed at its removal or prevention of dissemination. Therefore, when filling and organizing preventive measures, it is not necessary to focus in detail on the essence of the risks of the digital environment, in particular the essence of dangerous challenges, to slow down this pattern, but to focus on the possible consequences for health and life, on responsible behavior in digital behavior. space, critical thinking and perception of information, rules of information hygiene, as well as informing about

Opportunities to get help from practical psychologists in critical situations, including anonymously.

Safe behavior in the digital environment includes a set of knowledge, skills and values ‹‹regarding:

1) Human rights (including rights in the digital environment);

2) Electronic participation (participation in decision-making);

3) Maintaining health when working with digital devices;

Positive communication between the family and the educational institution helps to prevent children from getting into dangerous situations, including in the digital environment, and timely detection of such situations and response. Such communication has a positive effect on all participants in the educational process. In particular, the involvement of parents in the educational process promotes their awareness of the necessary help and support for their child, the value of their participation in the educational process, as well as affects the degree and quality of parental participation in their children's education at home.

Such involvement has a positive effect on academic performance, the level of motivation of children to study, behavior, attitude to homework and the educational institution as a whole. It also promotes the awareness of teachers about the needs of the child and the peculiarities of the family environment, which is valuable information for the organization of the educational process in the best way for the child.

Positive communication between parents and teachers is necessary to build a partnership between the educational institution and the family. Such communication is the basis for all other forms of family participation in the educational process. Reporting to parents mostly bad news about children's progress and behavior, rather than about successes and recognition of their achievements, hinders parental involvement, making them feel ineffective and unable to help their children.

To engage and inform parents, an educational institution can use bulletin boards for parents, advertisements at the entrance to the educational institution, telephone communication, e-mail, the website of the educational institution, messengers, etc.

To communicate with parents about a child's safe behavior in the digital environment, it is important to focus on the following tips:

  • Talk to your child about Internet safety and help develop critical thinking, teach them to make informed choices and take responsibility for its results. Simply banning the use of gadgets can lead to a child's loss of trust in an adult and his or her concealment of his or her hobbies. First of all, it is necessary to speak, explain, form a culture of using the Internet in everyday life;
  • Build an open and trusting relationship with the child regarding the use of technology: maintain communication, give advice. The child should know that the adult is nearby and ready to help;
  • Together with the child browse materials on her favorite websites and play her favorite online games. This will help to better understand the interests of the child, his hobbies and the reasons for this choice. It can also be a reason to start a conversation about online safety;
  • To form useful habits of using gadgets and digital environment, to develop digital, social and emotional skills, such as: respect, empathy, critical thinking, responsible behavior and psychological resilience;
  • to increase the child's self-esteem, to allow the child to make independent choices and be responsible for it, to teach patterns of behavior with negative experiences on the Internet;
  • Encourage the use of gadgets in adult visibility areas. This will help keep track of who your child communicates with on the Internet through a phone, tablet, smart TV, game console, and other devices connected to the Internet;
  • Set time limits for gadget usage to balance online and online time;
  • Monitor the applications, games, websites and social networks used by the child and their relevance to the child's age;
  • Learn how to set parental controls on your child's gadgets, turn off the ability to communicate or exchange messages in online chats, and share location in app or game settings, as this can put your child at risk in the form of unwanted contact or physical location.
  • Check the privacy settings in games and social networks used by the child, the presence of privacy settings enabled in his profile. Limit the number of people who can contact the child and ask the child for advice before adding new friends;
  • use available technologies to set up parental controls on devices that may restrict harmful content, monitor your child's actions, and restrict or block the use of Internet-connected devices or certain features (such as cameras, mobile app purchases);
  • Be attentive to signs of fear or anxiety, behavior changes, sleep patterns and appetite. Observe how the child builds contact with the world: if he sits in gadgets more, he is closed and cannot describe his condition; can't find words to tell about his feelings and the day spent; if she does not communicate live, does not visit, does not visit her; listens to depressive, paranoid music; has a detached look, apathy, the child is lethargic, has a poor appetite, has no interest in the eyes - in this case you need to turn to specialists and know where to go for additional advice and support, as well as tell the child where he can if necessary seek help. It is important to take into account the feelings of the adolescent and not deny them, you need to legalize these feelings and let the child know that he is accepted and can be talked about in the family.