The Internet is growing rapidly and is becoming an essential part of children’s lives. Internet use has many benefits for learning, participation, creativity, entertainment and communication. Along with the benefits, however, the Internet use might expose children to a wide range of online risks, some of them are known in the offline world such as bullying, pornography, sexual exploitation, and the viewing of inappropriate content, such as scenes of violence and suffering. There are also new risks such as invasion of personal data and privacy, geo-location tracking, sexual messaging and harassment. This paper presents a review of children’s Internet use and the online risks and threats. Also, the efforts that have been introduced to guarantee online safety for young people are presented. Unfortunately, the existing mechanisms for protecting children online are not effective. Parents do not always understand the potential risks their children may encounter. Furthermore, the current parental controls focus on monitoring and restrictive functions to reduce online risks, which might not satisfy the expectations of young people who want unrestricted freedom to use Internet. In addition, children need to be aware of Internet safety and how to cope with the risk and harm they may encounter. As a result, the paper proceeds to consider risk communication technologies as a first step to raise awareness about the potential risks for parents and children. This paper aims to integrate risk communication strategy with the parental controls. The proposed risk communication framework for improving awareness about the potential online risk for parents and children is presented. Risk communication technologies might be the best way to raise risk awareness for parents and children, and help them to make a safe decision.

Published in: International Conference on Information Society (i-Society 2018)

  • Date of Conference: 15-18 July 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/iSociety.2018.0006
  • ISBN: 978-1-908320-92-6
  • Conference Location: Dublin, Ireland