New Platform Aims to Keep Kids Safe Online
A new platform designed to keep young people safe while browsing the internet was launched today by Slovakian cybersecurity company ESET.
Safer Kids Online was developed in consultation with cybersecurity experts and a child psychologist. The multilingual platform offers guidance and advice to children, teens, and parents on how to stay safe online.
Users can learn the key warning signs that a child is being hounded by cyber-bullies and discover ways to prevent children from becoming the victims of online sexual predators. The platform will also feature advice on how to build a child’s awareness of the potential dangers involved in online activities they may perceive to be risk-free, such as posting selfies online and ‘checking in’ via geolocation services.
A friendly and respectful tone has been used to create the platform’s educational resources, which include vlogs and in-depth articles aimed at parents, and comics and prize competitions that appeal to children.
Creators of the platform have been careful not to make the internet sound like a scary place—that would hardly be great for business—but in a statement released today they underlined how aware they are of the risks posed to children who venture online.
The statement said: “According to the Cyberbullying Research Centre, 34% of 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. have experienced cyberbullying, while UK children’s charity the NSPCC recently revealed that police recorded 9,000 child sexual offenses with an online element between 2017 and 2018.”
Natália Rasavacová, Safer Kids Online Guru at ESET, believes the new platform will fill a gap often unintentionally left by parents and schools.
She said: “The digital age has brought boundless opportunities for progression around the world, but dangers are also present and alive. Children particularly can face risks, and we know that parents and schools, even with the best intentions, don’t always have the knowledge of how to protect their kids in the digital sphere.”
The need for online safety guidance for children is clear, as every third person on the internet is a child. However, the platform is likely to be good news for ESET as well as for young internet users and their parents since visitors are gently directed to advice on guardian software, such as ESET Parental Control for Android.