The Internet delivers information, entertainment and other benefits to users of all ages. However, there are threats that are more damaging to minors than they are to adults. A recent study “EU Kids Online” provides detailed information on the threats European children face online (indeed, kids all over the world face many of these same risks.)
Here are some key findings of the study:
- 12% of European 9-16 year olds say that they have been bothered or upset by something on the Internet.
- 39% of 9-16 year olds have encountered one or more of online risks such as pornography, bullying or personal data misuse.
- 22% of 11-16 year olds have been exposed to one or more types of potentially harmful user- generated content such as hate, drug-taking or suicide.
- 14% of 9-16 year olds have seen images online that are obviously sexual.
- In many cases, parents don’t realize the risks that their children face.
WOT helps to keep children safe online
To get the best out of the web, children need to be educated and instructed to use the Internet correctly. The free WOT add-on is suitable for use in homes, schools and kindergartens to guide children to avoid online risks when they use the Internet. The traffic-light WOT reputation symbols are easy to understand even by small kids: Green for safe, yellow for being cautious and red for danger.
You can easily customize WOT settings to give a warning or block the sites that the WOT community of millions of web users have rated as potentially harmful for children:
1) Access your WOT settings in the upper right-corner of the WOT rating window
2) Enter the warning tab
3) Customize the level of protection
4) Choose warning or blocking
5) Press “apply settings”
So far, the WOT community has rated 4.5 million sites as dangerous in child safety. When you see a site that you think is inappropriate for children, always remember to leave your rating for the safety of the little ones!
The study “EU Kids Online” reminds us that despite the online risks, the Internet also brings opportunities and benefits to children. Read the full report here.
Take part in our poll How do you think children under 16 should use Internet?