Sunday 21 January 2018

Editorial: Parents must keep up with technology for children's sake

Safer Internet Day is a very worthy idea, but unfortunately it's a little like the so-called war on drugs, the good guys can't win. In the first place, it has now emerged that 60pc of teenagers (40pc of 9- to 16-year-olds) own a smartphone of one kind or another, leaving them very exposed to inappropriate material.

It also nullifies the reason most parents supposedly offer for giving their youngster a phone – which is to keep in touch with home. Young people today, unlike their parents, were born into a technological world, and know how to navigate any device their parents might install. Taken with the sophistication of the hardware they carry around, this is where the dangers lie.

So what it comes down to is that in order to protect young people from the excesses of the internet – and these are many – parents have to talk to their children, listen to them and keep in touch with what they are doing with their devices.

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