Children provided with protection in digital world
Updated : Sunday, July 08, 2018 10:35 AM (GMT+0700)

TheInternet and social networks hold risks for vulnerable children, lack judgementand social awareness. It’s vital to help children protect themselves in thedigital world by improving their understanding of social networks and teachingthem about the potential risks.

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Social networks provideinformation and entertainment, expand social relations, and connect friends.Children are prone to abuse because they adopt technology quickly and don’thave sufficient awareness of the potential risks of suffering real consequencesfrom virtual relationships.

Nguyen Bich Ngoc, a9th grade pupil in Hanoi, has used a smart phone since she was in grade 6.All of her classmates have Facebook accounts, so does she. She lied about herage to dodge a ban on under-13s having a Facebook account. She is free to makefriends worldwide and happy to have thousands of people on her friends list.She doesn’t know most of them in real life.

Ngoc said “When I acceptedfriend requests, I got invitations to go out on a date. Sometimes, I’ve felthurt or scared because I was threatened or received nasty comments. News feedson Facebook sometimes contain disturbing and inappropriate information”.

Children addicted to gamesand social networking on digital devices are distracted from real-life socialactivities. Nguyen Phuong Linh, Director of the Research Center for Managementand Sustainable Development, said many parents have not appropriately guidedtheir children or controlled their internet usage. Many children are addictedto online games, smart phones, and social networks.

“Vietnamese children lackthe skills to handle risks on the internet. We call it a virtual world, but therisks are real and interactions have real impacts on children’s physical andmental health. We expect the media to help children and parents use technologyand adapt to the digital era. The internet is not a virtual world but aconnection to real things and real life”, said Ms. Linh.

To avoid internet dangers,parents should restrict their children’s use of the internet and installparental control functions on their computers. Parents are encouraged to playand talk with their children to understand and help them resolve any problems.


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