G DATA CyberDefense AG gives security tips on the international day of action
"Together for a better internet" is the motto for Safer Internet Day on February 6, 2024. Sex bots or fake accounts can be behind unwanted messages with sexual content on social media. They spread malware via links or try to lure unwitting users into subscription traps. To mark the day of action, G DATA CyberDefense is giving parents safety tips on how to protect their children online and raise their awareness of the dangers.
Children and young people come into contact with pornographic content on social media at an early age. This happens both intentionally as well as unintentionally. Sex bots and fake accounts are just one example of the security risks lurking on the internet. Revealing images with sexual content are intended to entice users to click on links that are either with malware or where they are tricked into taking out expensive subscriptions. The messages from fake accounts are automatically played out on Instagram, for example, and in the worst case, criminals try to obtain confidential information or access credentials in this way. Parents should not only protect their children from security risks by technical means, but also make them aware of the dangers by talking to them."Technological measures such as blocking age-inappropriate and pornographic content are a sensible first step towards greater online safety"
, says Tim Berghoff, Security Evangelist at G DATA CyberDefense AG. "Young people often lack the ability to differentiate between fake or fictitious actions and behavior that is acceptable in reality. In a digital world, however, it is crucial to have open communication and to encourage children to critically question any content they might see online." Five tips for more online safety for children
- Install antivirus protection and activate browser protection: Antivirus software for smartphones and tablets not only protects your child from viruses and other malware. In most cases, it also offers additional browser protection that protects children from websites that are harmful to minors, such as porn sites, and blocks sites.
- Check apps before installing them: Not all apps are suitable for young children. Before installing, you should check carefully whether the app is age-appropriate and what permissions are associated with its use. Parental control apps, for example, make it impossible to install apps without parental consent. Apps such as YouTube Kids are also suitable for age-appropriate use.
- Practice questioning identities online: Talk to your child about false identities on the internet and the existence of sex bots and fake accounts. If your child receives messages from strangers on Instagram, for example, they should never click on links or pictures. These accounts can also be reported using the "block" function via the three dots at the top right.
- Set screen time: IOS and Android have the "Screen Time" functions or the "Family Link" app already available when setting up an Android device, which family members can use to keep an eye on the other device's usage. On the PC or TV, separate accounts for the children help to limit the time with the help of parental controls. It offers the opportunity to structure and limit the time your child spends on technical devices.
What is safer Internet Day?
- Promote media literacy: Establish open communication with your child to talk regularly about online activities and teach media skills. Explain the risks online and give tips on how to use digital media correctly.
Every year at the beginning of February, Safer Internet Day (SID) campaigns for more online safety, especially among children and young people. Anyone can participate in the international day of action, whether an institution, foundation, company, association or private individual. Click here to go to the international Safer Internet Day site