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Internet and Children: How to help Protect Minors on the Web


Image by Alexandr Podvalny from Pixabay 

The web is an inexhaustible resource of knowledge and making good use of it is essential to prevent fake news or unsuitable content from unfairly conditioning users. Internet is certainly one of the revolutions that led our society to be that of today, for better or for worse. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of this medium, in addition to the potential problems that derive from it: the use of the web has in fact brought people closer together in a period in which physical contacts were very risky and allowed to carry out most of the work activities, entertaining users in their free moments.

Even boys and children were able to continue school in a completely digital way, despite having to face all the difficulties of the case. Precisely the protection of children and, more generally, of minors on the internet, is one of the most delicate matters of all, which is why it requires proper investigation.

The main dangers of the network for children

In this scenario, even more so today, it is precisely minors who must be protected and educated in the correct network use. Blocking access to sites forbidden to minors and excluding access to controversial portals could be the first step to take to ensure the safety of minors on the web.  The dangers, however, do not pass only from the contents: often the problem can be social networks. Cyberbullying, threats or messages for sexual purposes are in fact another big problem of the net.

The Parental Control, included for example among the different solutions proposed by Family Orbit, is a tool that is very useful for parents and educators. Using parental controls helps protect minors on the web by limiting access to content that is unsuitable for their age. Each device has such a mode, limiting access to certain sites or apps and thus providing a good level of protection for children on the internet.

The dangers arising from the use of social networks

The use of social networks such as Instagram and TikTok in children between the ages of 9 and 12 has increased exponentially in recent years, especially through mobile devices. Knowing what parents do and what children share online is essential. Our advice is to follow and make minors follow some rules especially with regard to images and videos:

  • Do not geolocate the photos
  • Also avoid photographs in recognizable contexts, such as school or recognizable places
  • Never publish the faces of children
  • Never make the photos public, if necessary enable viewing only for your contacts.

Decalogue parents – children: the safety checklist

Whenever possible, parents should give very specific rules to follow regarding the ways, times and use of devices connected to the web. Psychologists and psychotherapists have collaborated to develop rules to follow for a correct use of information and to avoid dangers on the part of minors:

Limit the viewing time of the contents

  • Choose content with a preference for educational ones
  • Share the vision of programs and experiences with children to guide them
  • Define the moments and places of vision during the day
  • Select quality content, guaranteed for the child’s age group
  • Teach your child to use Internet tools and especially what not to share.
  • Internet browsing filters

A tool such as parental controls offers a higher level of security, for safer internet browsing by teens and children. In this way it is possible to avoid access to adult sites, violent images and, more generally, pages that contain suspicious keywords. As anticipated, it is possible to take advantage of the potential of this tool thanks to specially designed and very useful software from this point of view.

Controlling the smartphone

Controlling your children’s smartphone is not a lack of trust but a useful preventive action to avoid much worse future problems. Keeping an eye on your browsing history, the people they chat with and the apps they install and use on a daily basis is undoubtedly the best possible control for safeguarding their safety.

Where you can apply navigation filters

Nowadays, all devices with the most used operating systems on board allow you to apply specific navigation filters, designed specifically for the protection of young people and children who use the internet for simple entertainment or for study purposes. This allows parents to control their children’s web browsing in a few simple steps, increasing their safety.

Possible signs of discomfort in children

Social networks often take the place of real social interaction, in many cases creating inconveniences and behaviors that sometimes hide a wider problem. Parents have to prevent this by trying to make them understand that social networks are just tools that add to normal social relationships.


The network, and more particularly the social networks, hide many pitfalls; among these we find cyberbullying. The speed of interaction and poor controls transform social platforms into fertile ground for those who, using anonymity, do not spare free offenses and sharing of private material of the victim, making him fall into a vortex from which it is difficult to get out. A problem of this type must absolutely be prevented, informing oneself properly and taking the right precautions:

  • Teach your child to behave correctly sometimes misunderstandings or misunderstood phrases for what they wanted to be ignite discussions that often lead to hatred, netiquette is therefore always good advice
  • The best way to initiate your child into a conscious use of technology is by sharing the right material on social networks
  • Observe your child’s reactions when they chat online or participate in a discussion; their expressions are the first alarm bell of an uncomfortable situation
  • Talk to your children and try to get them to open up, it is often possible to intervene earlier and avoid even serious problematic situations.
  • Browser choice and child filters

Once you have applied the navigation filters seen in the previous paragraphs, it is not so essential to choose a specific browser for children. However, there are also specific search portals designed specifically for the protection of children on the internet (such as Kiddle for example), which filter Google searches adequately. It makes sense to set these as your browser’s default search engines, in order to be even more secure.


Ensuring the safety of children and minors on the web is not that simple, despite the possibilities made available by the main operating systems used today. Much passes through education and the examples that parents and educators are able to pass on to minors. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, what undermines security most significantly are undoubtedly social networks. It is absolutely necessary that the very young are guided in the use of these platforms especially in the early days.

Once the right instructions have been given to minors, even for them, the web can become an indispensable tool. Compared to what has been understood up to now, it is a very important tool for the knowledge of new issues capable of opening up a world of possibilities.



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