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The Internet is a great place to play, learn and connect children and young people. Smart devices have huge advantages, such as easier education, social networking and information, but they also bring with them huge opportunities for various types of abuse and violence.

Children are an easy target for online predators

All children who use the Internet can find themselves in a risky and dangerous situation due to their wide variety of online activities. Because of their youth, inexperience, curiosity and naivety, children are among the most vulnerable users of the Internet.

Europol CyberSecurity ChildrenOnline security is the duty and responsibility of all users. Parents can also make a significant contribution to a safer online environment for you and your children.

Make sure your children are safe online - advice for parents

Parents are primarily responsible for preventing online violence and online sexual abuse of your children. You are the one who sets the boundaries for your child in real life, and it is right to set them online even before you buy your child the first smart device.

  •  Together with your children, set rules for using the Internet for all family members. These rules include the time limit for the use of the Internet, mobile and electronic devices, social networks, computer games. In doing so, be an example to children.
  • Inform children about the pros and cons of the internet. Encourage them to use it for education, entertainment, schooling, relaxation, but remind them that not all the information they find online is good, reliable, and correct. Teach them to be critical of the information they find online.
  • The computer should not be part of the children's room, keep it in a space where you have control over what children do online.
  • Talk to children about what they do online, which websites they visit, on which social networks their classmates are present.
  • Let children know that, as in real life, they should trust their feelings on the Internet. Assure them that in case they find themselves in a difficult and awkward situation on the internet, you will help them and not condemn them.
  • When your kids first sign up for social media, talk about the information they can share online. Tell them that personal information (address, phone number, school they attend, sports club, bank account number) is only theirs and that they should not share it with strangers. Help them choose a suitable nickname that will not reveal children's real name or other information to strangers.
  • Install the appropriate antivirus software and firewall on your computer.
  • Tell children that the Internet has similar rules of conduct and etiquette as the real world. Encourage them to respect other users online and not spread intolerance and hate speech. Teach them that anonymity is only apparent and that spreading inappropriate content can make them criminal suspects.
  • Forbid them to meet in person with people they meet online, because in reality, a completely different person may be hiding behind a social media profile whose purpose is not friendship but sexual abuse and child extortion.

CyberSafety Parents

Parents, do you know what your child is doing online?

In fact, the Internet and smart devices are evolving and changing extremely fast. There are more social networks, websites, apps and entertainment options every day.

We advise you to regularly inform and educate yourself about what young people are doing online and what dangers they are exposed to. Talk to your children regularly and establish a confidential relationship.

Related content

Internet security
Cyber violence and sexual abuse of children online
Awareness centre SAFE.SI 
Online sexual coercion and extortion is a crime (Europol)