HERE IS SOME ADVICE
1 / How to best have a command on your children’s screens timeframe and space use
Set rules appending your child’s or children’s age to manage the time they spend on their screens (tablet, smartphone, videogames, TV etc.)
If and when possible do not set up a computer in a young children’s bedroom, rather put it in the living room or in a common space. For the elder, make sure they don’t use their tablet or mobile phone during too lengthy periods of time in their bedrooms or late at night. Show them the example from your own proper use. En savoir plus >
2 / Be in a usual and positive dialogue regarding the online good practice
Encourage your children to share their experiences on Internet with you (activity, contacts) in the same way you would talk about their non-virtual activities. Tell them you show a real interest and it is therefore important that she/he tells you or a reliable adult when seeing on Internet something scary or giving an uncomfortable sensation, or if someone is threatening, hassling, or is strange or cruel with your child. Be on the lookout for any sign of stress or discomfort that might appear related to her/his screen use (withdrawal, mood change, isolation, addiction, sadness, aggressiveness. En savoir plus >
3 /Secure your child’s accessible devices
Use a parental control filter, an updated antivirus and an anti-cyber-harassment (for instance Bodyguard) to screen the Internet contents and your child’s interaction. Once parameters are set, you are a in a position to restrict the hours and time spent browsing or prevent unknown persons to contact your child. You can secure your child’s profile on some game consoles or video platforms (like Netflix, creating a “teenager’s” profile for your child).
4 /Watch for age recommendations
You can find specific CSA recommendation for children using screens in order to best protect both parents and children from violent, shocking or unsuited contents. Regarding video games there is the PEGI signaling system. Be on the lookout for the youngest users, bring awareness of their older brothers/sisters/cousins in case of collective family video game or film/series watching parties.
5 /Resort to a « right to get forgotten »
You can erase Internet data regarding your child or make pages where pictures of your children previously published invisible in the browsing statistics of the search engines. As for social media, means and time before efficacy vary according to the request for contents removal, deactivation or account cancellation… but if such request concerns a child the procedure is sped up.
BEHAVIORS THAT SHOULD BE AVOIDED
6/ A very strict attitude with no right to mistakes
If your child/teenager gets into a tough situation for non-complying with your rules or online misbehavior you may be tempted to merely cut access to her/his smartphone. You’d rather avoid that because should your child meet another issue, she/he won’t tell you for fear of a sanction. Choose an approach that won’t make her/him feel guilty after misconduct or carelessness. Show your support if she/he got scared, felt discomfort or was trapped in order to try and find a solution together and think how to get better protection in the future.
7 / Activate the geo-localization or tag your pictures
Your children’s digital tracks can be retrieved by child abusers who might track your children’s data through pictures/videos/information published (for instance at school, leisure or vacation places, friends, family, tastes or habits). Once they know about your living town and follow your family’s or friends’ various accounts, they might succeed in identifying or recognizing specific places.
You should be aware that even if online and remote, the geo-localization or the assessment of a geographical perimeter is made possible by crossmatching certain places. Ill-intentioned individuals can find out the origin of published pictures or videos or retrace the itineraries to try and approach or assault your child. Deactivate the geo-localization and avoid tagging places for your children’s pictures and bring awareness to your acquaintances about it.
8 / Reporting any illegal behavior or contents
Your child has been approached by a frightening behaving individual (cyberharassment, threats, adult pretending to be a child, sexual proposition, grooming…). Start by blocking this individual, listening to your child and reassuring her/him – this is a first step toward protecting your child.
In order to make Internet a more secure environment for everyone, especially children and teenagers, you can also report any misbehavior to the dedicated platform, call 3018 for family’s advice and psychological, legal and technical assistance against digital violence.
In case of exposure to illicit contents or behaviors you can report via PHAROS platform ou can report Internet child pornography, racism, ethnical or religious hatred, financial scam or fraud acts.
9 / No question-asking or information seeking to avoid being intrusive or spying on your child
Children – just like adults – have a right to privacy. Nevertheless, pending their age, it might be advisable to check on who your child “follows” or her/his number of “friends”/” followers” on the internet accounts and social medias. While making sure you respect her/his privacy, it is important to share discussions on your child’s digital practice so as to be able to intervene in case of imminent danger or if you notice new acquaintances or a worrying change in your child’s behavior. Beware of the spying softwares that do not really help a confident, responsible and sharing parent/child relationship.
10 / Regularly sharing your family life on social media
Before you post pictures or videos of your child, take a few instants to wonder if you would agree to exhibit them on the street or at the child’s kindergarten/school entrance.
Would these pictures not be embarrassing or harm your child ten years from now? Even if you do securely set your private accounts, the zero “leak” risk does not exist on Internet as that won’t guarantee a limited broadcast of your child’s picture.
You cannot make sure that each authorized individual in your environment will be as cautious or will have the same secured sets on their private accounts.
One individual might involuntarily share the publication to a third party whom you may not know and so on and so on so your children’s contents might be hijacked by ill-intentioned individuals.
CAMELEON encourages awareness and reflection before posting including on the child’s consent, right to image and consequences, now or later. Avoid posting pictures of your child in a bathing suit, in bare or close-fit outfits (leotard, diapers) or in suggestive postures.
Edit your children’s pictures, blur them, hide their faces or even favor pictures only showing their back, profile or high-angle takes, so they get less easily identified.
France is the third country Worldwide hosting child criminal contents on Internet as shown in a study from the Association “Point de contact”. This association is known to have reported more than 11,000 URL (website addresses) leading to sex exploiting and violence on underaged, e.g., 75% of the illegal contents analyzed in 2019. The discovered URL might contain hundreds of pictures and/or videos. Four out of five victims were children under 13 years of age.
When sharing images on Internet, one screen capture or one « video capture » is enough for anyone to later record and share it on the Darknet.
They may be further used as illustrations on guides for sexual predators, then onto child pornographic sites, commented and shared on sexual phantasms discussion forums or even be used to try and retrieve and track the pictured children…