This Christmas, Act for Kids is urging parents and carers to supervise children closely with Santa bringing electronic devices to many children.
Act for Kids own research revealed that although three quarters (78%) of Australians blame inappropriate sexual behaviours on access to online content, worryingly, parents are not taking the necessary precautions to protect their children online.
The research also found that two-thirds (63%) of parents fail to secure devices with passwords and one in two (55%) allow their children unsupervised access online.
Act for Kids is urging parents and care givers to be smart about choosing age-appropriate gifts for children and young people this year.
“We know technology is still one of the most popular items on children’s wish lists with smartphones, Xbox games, and even smart toys likely to have been requested by kids,” Nadine Moore, Act for Kids said.
Act for Kids also wants to highlight the importance of protecting children from the dangers of the online world with 98% of children under 10, who already use devices, are left exposed to pornographic and violent content.
Unfortunately, reports of child exploitation have increased significantly across Australia over the past two years, particularly while children have spent more time online throughout COVID-19 lockdowns.
In 2020, more than 21,000 reports were made to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation.
“Act for Kids is encouraging kids to enjoy their presents this weekend, but with the ability to access the internet from almost anywhere these days it is important that parents and carers look at ways to ensure their children are safe online,” she explained.
A major concern is that two-thirds (67%) of parents to children under 12 feel they need more education on how to protect their kids from accessing inappropriate content.
Act for Kids advises families to follow three simple steps to keep their kids safe this Christmas – secure, supervise and sit down.
- Secure household devices by setting passcodes and restrictions on all devices. This includes smart fridges, gaming consoles and even your Google Home. Check who has the ability to share material with your child, for example Airdrop.
- Supervise children online and monitor the material they are accessing.
- Identify specific locations for internet use within the home; keeping devices in a shared family area, this will assist to regularly check their privacy settings and internet search limitations as well as yours.
We also recommend limiting daily screen time and establish what may be identified as inappropriate posts on online profiles.
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