Today, children have many means of acquiring explicit material.This gives the modern parent a great deal to think about.In this article, we’ll explore some of the ways in which a parent can control exactly what sorts of content their children are exposed to.
Television is the most obvious means through which a child might watch something inappropriate – though this position is under threat from a rising tide of online content.It is worth using the content filter services provided by your television provider. A digital tv aerial engineer should be able to help with this during installation.
Netflix and other on-demand services deliver an enormous variety of content to your television.Such services often come bundled with games consoles and other media centres – so if your child has access to one, then you might consider taking to steps to ensure that they are not able to access unsuitable material.Some of these require a monthly subscription, others, such as the BBC’s iPlayer, and, of course, Youtube, are free.
While it is Youtube’s policy that inappropriate material be flagged and removed, it is not always clear cut what sort of material is grounds for prohibition.Some material – such as that put forward by the music industry – can be salacious and explicit without being pornographic. Youtube often demark such videos as containing ‘adult content’, which means prevents younger viewers from accessing it without first proving their age.
It should be noted, however, that YouTube’s submission process is almost entirely automated. When one considers the volume of material uploaded to YouTube, it becomes clear that this is unavoidable – hundreds of hours’ worth of video content is uploaded to the site every minute.It is only after this material has been viewed that it stands a chance of being pulled down.For this reason, there is always a danger that a child might view material which isn’t appropriate for them.
Internet safety for children is a growing concern among parents. It is easy to see why this is the case.The internet may turn them, depending on which news article you read, into anorexics, jihadists, communists, scientologists, sociopaths, or all of the above.While the dangers are undoubtedly exaggerated, it is worth taking preventative action, particularly if your children are in the habit of spending a lot of their time online.
Facebook and other social networks, require that their users be at least thirteen years old.However, a recent poll carried out by the BBC found that around one-in-ten children pay little heed to these warnings and sign up to sites that they’re not supposed to.
Some of this percentage undoubtedly take this a step further and sign up to sites which deliver content designed specifically for adults – like those that deal in adult images and pornography.Obviously, this should be discouraged. If your child is not yet at an age where they will seek out such material, then they should be prevented from stumbling upon it accidentally.This can be done using one of the many filters offered by almost every major internet provider. If your child is at such an age, then it may be time to have a chat.
Facebook, by contrast, is notoriously harsh on nudity – specifically female nudity – while being comparatively liberal when it comes to depictions of violence, such as those currently emanating from Middle-Eastern warzones.For this reason, concerned parents should be vigilant and talk to their children honestly about social networks.
Another problem which the internet poses to children is that it affords them another means of bullying one another.As well all know, if left to their own devices, some children can be relied upon to engage in ruthless psychological warfare against one another.
Children often hide the evidence of bullying and so it is difficult to know of its existence if you are not informed of it.After all, the occasions where a child comes back from school covered in cuts and bruises are the exceptions; most bullying is done covertly: a hurtful word or two muttered in someone’s ear, a stealthy kick in the shin, a campaign of pointed ridicule.It is easy for even an adult witness to say for sure that what they are witnessing is bullying.That is, unless a child makes a complaint.
Just traditional bullying is difficult to detect, so too is its online counterpart.The solution, however, is largely similar.Ensure that your children know that they can talk to you – or someone else – if they are being harassed, intimidated or made to feel uncomfortable online.