New online protection guidelines issued for parents and children

Welcome to Cyber Security Today. It’s Monday July 6th. I’m Howard Solomon, contributing reporter on cybersecurity for ITWorldCanada.com.

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Children are born curious. That curiosity helps them learn. It can also get them into trouble, especially online. If you’re a parent looking for some help in teaching children learn how to manage risks online check out the latest Guidelines on Child Online Protection issued by the International Telecommunication Union. The ITU is an agency of the United Nations that co-ordinates the shared use of wireless resources used by radio and television stations, cellphone companies and governments. Every year it puts out recommendations for children, parents and educators, industry and policymakers on how to contribute to the development of a safe and online environment for children.

This year’s editions have been completely re-designed to include things children increasingly encounter such as Internet-connect toys, online gaming, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

It also considers the needs of children with disabilities, migrant children and other vulnerable groups.

The guidelines for kids are in a child-friendly format, and come in three parts: A storybook for children under nine, a workbook for children aged 9 to 11, and a social media campaign and microsite for children and young people aged 12 to 18.

The guidelines for parents and educators emphasize the importance of open communication with children so they feel empowered to raise concerns. Among the recommendations: Talk to your child about what’s appropriate online, have expectations as a family about using the internet and personal devices, be aware that advertising can be inappropriate or misleading, make sure they understand what it means to post photographs on the internet and educate children on the dangers of meeting strangers online.

The guidelines for industry are aimed at helping companies develop their internal child online protection policies, including integrating child rights considerations into all appropriate corporate policies and management processes and creating an age-appropriate online environment.

The guidelines for policymakers should help them develop better-targeted regulations and legislation for protecting children online.

There’s a link to the guidelines here.

That’s it for Cyber Security Today. We can be heard on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or add us to your Flash Briefing on your smart speaker. Thanks for listening. I’m Howard Solomon



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