I’m honored to report that on July 11 I will speak at the Child Internet Safety Summit, a daylong event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Safer Internet Day. The summit brings together officials from government, business and academia to discuss online child protection.
Entitled, “Defining New Boundaries for Today’s Cyber Playground,” my keynote will explore how to reconcile keeping kids safe with allowing them to enjoy themselves online. “Be yourself” is arguably the most important aspiration a parent can instill in a child. Even for adults, this is an ideal AVG continually tries to enable in our global community. As we consider how to equip children in the digital world, safety and freedom do not have to be mutually exclusive.
And yet, there are some staggering facts about UK children we should be aware of:
- 50% of 8-11 year old and 88% of 12-15 year olds own mobile phones, making sharing sexual images and content via mobile devices very easy (Ofcom)
- Around 10% of 8-15 year olds who use the Internet at home report seeing things that make them feel sad, frightened or embarrassed online (Ofcom)
- 12% of 8-11 year olds and 24% of 12-15 year olds say they use social networking sites to communicate with people not directly known to them (Ofcom)
- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) receives more than 600 reports of grooming a month (Ofcom)
- 19% of 11-16 year old Internet users have seen one or more types of potentially harmful user-generated content, rising to 32% of 14-16 year old girls. (EU Kids Online II)
- 21% of children say they have been bullied and 7% say this occurred on the Internet (EU Kids Online II)
That said, I look forward to being a part of discussions on how parents and schools can effectively collaborate to protect children; whether and how pornography should be censored; the latest e-safety guidance from Ofsted; and what to do when a child’s proficiency with technology outpaces their social maturity.
In the meantime, AVG offers a complete spectrum of Family Safety products for PCs and mobile devices. Whether your kids have their own devices or share family machines, it’s worth exploring protective measures to keep them (and yourself) healthy and prosperous.
As for the Summit, it’s great to see so many people rallying around issues that AVG cares so deeply about. I’m proud to be a part of it and hope to be involved in many more like it in the months and years to come.