G DATA CyberDefense provides security tips on the international day of action.
"Together for a better internet" is the motto of Safer Internet Day on February 7, 2023, which promotes greater safety online. Children and young people in particular are exposed to countless dangers online, such as problematic content or fake apps. Therefore, limits on internet usage are just as important for youngsters as offline rules. On this occasion G DATA CyberDefense gives parents security tips on how to make their children more aware of online security and where limits are important.
The Safer Internet Day, which takes place on February 7, 2023, is an annual day of action against online issues such as cyberbullying, digital identity and social media. For children and young people in particular, the Internet is an important part of everyday reality: From communicating with friends, to learning and playing games, and watching videos and movies – youngsters spend a lot of time online. Even young children from the age of six usually have access to their own smartphone or tablet and need the help and guidance of their parents as well as rules when it comes to their online activities. Through parental controls, parents can protect their children from accessing videos that glorify violence or from pornographic content. When it comes to gaming, parents should be aware of risks and address any issues openly together with their children and explain why not every app may be downloaded without problems. If a credit card is stored in the app store, paid games can quickly become an expensive trap – especially when children unlock in-game functions or equipment that end up costing real money that is billed to the parents credit cards. But fake apps can also disguise themselves as games and are again problematic, since they have too many permissions and can themselves install other malicious apps, both of which are serious privacy and security hazards. "Younger children in particular should be introduced to the Internet at an early age"
, says Tim Berghoff, Security Evangelist at G DATA CyberDefense. "Special search engines for youngsters are suitable as start pages and make child-friendly surfing possible. It also makes sense to implement basic IT security measures together with children and young people. The "basic knowledge" includes, for example, how to handle passwords correctly, the critical examination of app authorizations and that personal data should only be entered after consultation with parents."
G DATA provides tips for better protection when children use the Internet:
- Keeping children safe online: parents should teach their children how to use the Internet safely and responsibly. For example, parental controls with content checks prevent children and teenagers from accessing websites about drugs, violence and pornography.
- Addressing dangers openly: Parents should address early on what content and situations children and teens can easily share with friends and family. It's important to explain why they shouldn't share photos, addresses and phone numbers on the Internet.
- Limiting permissions: Parents should have full control over their children's activities online. Restricted permissions on the smartphone or tablet will prevent apps from being downloaded.
- Limit online time: How much time children should spend online depends on the situation and age. It makes sense to set agreements for the duration of use. With the help of technical measures, parents can ensure that the device switches off after a certain duration, for example with the Google Family Link app.
- Checking apps before installation: Not all apps are suitable for young children. Parents should check carefully before installation whether the app is age-appropriate and what permissions are associated with its use. A password for the Apple Store provides the necessary control.
- Install security software: A comprehensive security solution with powerful real-time protection is part of the basic equipment of every computer, smartphone and tablet. It protects against malware and provides a basis for more security while surfing.
About Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day (SID) is an annual day of action initiated by the European Union. Every Tuesday in the second week of February each year, the day draws attention to greater security on the Internet. Institutions, foundations, companies, associations or private individuals can participate and offer actions and events. Click here to go to the Safer Internet Day page: www.saferinternetday.org/de/