Online safety for children should start with parents’ understanding of the need to secure them in a friendly manner, an Information Technology (IT) professional, Mr Olufemi Ake, said on Wednesday.
Ake, the Country Manager of ESET, an IT security software and services company, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“Parents need to form a bond with their kids in such a way that they can share same internet experience.
“This will make children to feel corrected and not controlled whenever parents make known their observations to their online activities,” he advised.
Ake told NAN that Nigeria should be making progress in online safety for children, as age rating on some websites and online activities was rapidly gaining ground in the country.
“These should help parents and children to decide on appropriate online activities.
“It is necessary for parents to secure their children online in a friendly manner to achieve the desired result – safety – without the children feeling controlled or monitored.
“The most efficient way to curb adult themes on websites anytime and anywhere is through the use of Parental Control Applications.
“These applications function strictly as configured by the parents; age group settings, kids’ sites are picked by the control.
“These applications are produced by some companies, ESET inclusive,’’ he told NAN.
According to the IT professional, the applications include application guard, age-based filters to manage which apps children should access, child locator, which allows parents to check where their child is at every point.
“There is the web guard, the age-inappropriate websites block for children, fun and games time limit.
“With all these controls, parents can decide when their children can play on their devices, set time limits and exceptions,’’ Ake said.
He added that in developed countries, many websites were designed with age rating signatures and keywords identifiable by browsers and control applications.
“But the question is: How many of these sites are our parents familiar with, let alone knowing when those websites are compromised?
“In reality, it is almost impossible for anyone to be with his kids 24 hours daily for the purpose of checking their devices in case something goes wrong.
“You cannot give what you do not have; the process starts with parents understanding the need to secure their kids online and doing it in a friendly way in order to achieve the best result,” he advised.