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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Helping kids be safer and more confident online


In the latest survey conducted by Google in Asia-Pacific including the Philippines, 72% of Filipino parents are proactively looking for information about online safety, showing a 4% jump from 2021. 

 

This means that more parents are recognizing the importance of digital responsibility at home and that they should be equipped with the right knowledge and tools to guide their kids about the topic. These parents noted that YouTube Kids (64%), Google SafeSearch (55%) and Family Link(36%) have been helpful to them in ensuring their kids would have a safer internet experience. 

 

The survey also discovered that 86% of Filipino parents have had a conversation with their children on online safety and that they are confident their kids would come to them about any problems or questions regarding internet usage. 


Brought about by the need for online learning during the pandemic, 60% of Filipino parents allowed increased screen time for their kids. The new online activities they mentioned are remote learning (64%), learning a new language (44%) and learning a new dance (34%). Meanwhile, top online activities that took place during the pandemic are connecting remotely with friends and family (34%) and playing games online with friends (29%). Parents further shared that educational apps used in the past year include Brainly (52%), Canvas (29%), and Moodle (16%). 

 

Needs for improvement

Despite the optimism, three out of 10 parents still worry their children might not be sufficiently informed about online safety. Google also found that while children get their first mobile phone at an average age of 10, parents don’t talk to them about online safety until an average age of 12. This two-year gap could be why kids aren’t as informed as they could be—particularly at an age when they are most vulnerable to pitfalls and hard-to-break habits. The top concerns for parents online remain to be privacy and security, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying. 

 

Helping kids be safer and more confident online

As technology rapidly evolves, parents should have access to the latest and easy-to-understand tools to monitor their kids’ online activities. In addition to YouTube KidsGoogle SafeSearch, and Family Link, here are some handy resources that parents can use:

 

      Supervised experience on YouTube is a parent-managed version of regular YouTube. It comes with tailored content settings, adjusted features and digital wellbeing protections for younger viewers.

      Be Internet Awesome provides relatable lessons and interactive games that teach kids the fundamentals of digital citizenship and online safety.

 

Yves Gonzalez, Google Philippines’ Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, commented on how Be Internet Awesome has helped her daughter be smart in the online world. “While my 7-year-old daughter Mouse was playing her favorite game online, a stranger wanted to ‘share a gift’ in exchange for her password. It was a good thing we have regular conversations with our kids on online safety and privacy, because Mouse knew that sharing her password is a big no-no! She quickly showed me the message and laughed at how the stranger was trying to fool her. Be Internet Awesome has helped make this topic easier for children to understand and apply in their daily lives.”

 

To find out more about how Google keeps children and families safe online, head over to the Google Safety Center.

 

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