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In this week's "Weekly quick tips" we want to tackle with a more serious topic. Children's online safety.

 

The web and and mobile technologies offer unlimited opportunities for access to information and communication. More and more people use the web as way of communication, but to children that poses some risks. It's important for parents to acknowledge those risks and take preventive measures to assure their children's safety while surfing the web and using mobile content.

 

  • Explain to your children that under no circumstance should they give away their, their family's or their friends' private information to strangers (name, telephone number, home address etc.)

 

  • Children should be very careful in their choice of online usernames, because a provocative username could increase their chance of being harassed by malicious people, as well as receive emails with inappropriate content.

 

  • Do not allow your children to meet with people they became acquainted with through the internet. It could endanger their safety. If you are however prone to allow such meeting, explain to them that it must take place at a public area and preferably with the presence of a chaperon.

 

  • Explain to them that people online are not always who they claim to be. Warn them that they have to be careful and should never completely trust strangers.

 

  • Make a rule that no unknown apps/programs should be downloaded without your knowledge or permission.

 

  • Your children should never open messages from unknown senders, as they can contain viruses or inappropriate information.

 

  • Let them know that they shouldn't respond to messages that contain uncensored or provocative content. Explain that whenever they feel endangered or worried they should come to you so you can react momentarily.

 

 You can receive additional help by visiting Be Smart Online or by calling Helpline number 179 where you can forward a query or seek support. You can also report illegal content concerning minors at childwebalert.gov.mt or contact the Malta Police - Cyber crime unit via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (+356) 2294 2231.

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