A look at what is going on in the world of child technology, e-safety and online etiquette. Feel free to leave comments or start further discussions on the forum. Its good to talk.

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  • Making sure anonymous internet use gives pre-teens the right message. 01 October 2013 | View comments

  • The priority for all e-safety training is safeguarding the privacy of young tech users. Creating pseudonym user names and using avatar profile pictures all go some way to making sure that pre-teens cannot be targeted by those seeking to take advantage of a youngsters lack of experience. It is for this same reason that all social network sites used by adults have minimum age policy for users to be at least 13. Although it is not law in this country the US COPPA regulations state a website must gain parental consent when seeking to gain personal details from anyone below that age. This should mean that pre-teens can explore all that the internet has to offer safe in the knowledge that as long as they do not post personal information they can not be targeted.

    But e-safety education should not just be about what others can take from you, but also that you must not take from others. That this anonymity is a shield to protect you, but not one to hide behind whilst hurling the sticks and stones of cyber bullying and online abuse. Online etiquette is as much a part of e-safety training as protecting your personal information. Ensure that when discussing e-safety with children you spend as much time on online etiquette as you do on protecting privacy, teaching them that interacting online is still interacting with another person with the same feelings that they have. Just because they can not see the other person, who will also mostly likely also be using a pseudonym and avatar, that they realise that person is real. If a young user believes that their anonymity gives them the right to act with impunity, it will set a dangerous precedent for their adult tech use.

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