In a recent survey by online age verification organisation Age Checked, 75 per cent of mums and dads expressed the same fear: the dangers of the online world.
Of the 1,500 respondents, the majority of mums and dads cited accessibility to inappropriate internet content as their prime parenting concern. (Something to think about as your baby becomes adept at the side-swipe and thumb-scroll.)
Ranked in order of most worrying content, parents most feared their children accidentally stumbling across:
- porn sites
- gambling sites
- gaming sites
- online weapon shopping sites
While a new law will require online users to show proof of age before entering adult sites, the problem is that underage web surfers could still encounter uncensored advertising on social media feeds. So, is the onus more on the side of the online industries?
The results of the survey highlighted the fact that while certain social media platforms explicitly prohibit accounts for those younger than 13 years old, a large proportion of parents revealed their 10-year-olds had access.
Alastair Graham, CEO of AgeChecked, emphasises that the solution is a balance between parental monitoring and online business safeguarding of young users.
Of course, the latter is hardly in our hands—the legislative process is anything but punctual; so ultimately, we need to involve ourselves in our children’s digital world.
Ask questions, answer questions. Set parameters. Check-in regularly and often. And offer alternatives to the screen as a matter of a healthy body—and a healthy mind.