Parents of children attending school online more worried about their safety

Mumbai | Updated on February 09, 2021 Published on February 09, 2021

Privacy and security of the children’s information was the top concern, reveals research led by Google

Parents with children attending school online are more concerned about online safety than the ones whose children attended school in person, according to research conducted by Google’s Online Safety Education Lead Lucian Teo alongside the Trust Research team.

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The research was conducted across Asia-Pacific (Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico). Teo, in an official blog post, shared some of the primary concerns of parents regarding their children’s safety, along with tips to stay safe online.

In India, 74 per cent of parents with children attending school online during the Covid-19 pandemic expressed increased concern about online safety, according to the research.

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Risk of scams, hacking

Privacy and security of their children’s information was the top concern of parents surveyed. Parents were concerned about scams or hacking of their child’s accounts, Teo said.

According to the Google executive, parents should teach their children about choosing strong passwords and avoid simple passwords along with choosing strong passwords themselves. It is better to stick to platforms with built-in security systems with a strong reputation for user safety.

Parents were also concerned about who their children talk to online.

“Try to talk to your kids about the games they play or the videos they watch, and also the people they play with online,” said Teo.

In India, despite a majority of parents being more concerned about online safety, 34 per cent of parents interviewed have never spoken to their children about online safety. “We need to work hard to reassure our children that we are here to guide and protect them,” said Teo.

“When assessing if a game is suitable for your child, it is important to check not only the content of the game, but also whether the app allows online communications with others. Some multiplayer games allow only a few options for social interaction, like a thumbs up rather than a text chat. This reduces risks of unwanted social interactions by quite a lot,” Teo further advised.

Inappropriate content

The fear of children encountering inappropriate content is also among one of the top concerns of parents in surveys.

71 per cent of parents are currently using online family safety features. For Google, parents can also use features such as SafeSearch for Google Search that filters out explicit content from all types of results and parental controls for YouTube Kids. They can also manage their child’s device by creating a Google account for your child and using Family Link.

“This allows you to add filters on Google Search, block websites or only give access to the ones you allow or track the location of your child if they have their own device,” explained Teo.

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Published on February 09, 2021
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