FITIS launches Internet Parental Control Guide
Federation of Infomation Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), apex body of the ICT Industy has launched a timely guide on Internet Parental Control. Abbas Kamrudeen, Chairman FITIS said, our communication chapter takes on Internet Parental Control, at a time where COVID-19 has paved the way for children to take online lessons, thereby making them more susceptible to content on the internet, unsuitable for them. We strive to overcome issues such as extreme use of computers, violence in games, invasions of privacy, exposure to pornography and more, through providing parents with the right tools to safeguard their children.
Trushan Handy, President of Communication chapter of FITIS said, New technology brings along both excitement and anxiety, although computer and Internet are increasingly indispensable tools for children and have many advantages in several areas, mainly in education, communication and creativity, computer and Internet use also cause anxiety because of violence in games, extreme use of computers, and ease of accessing pornography and other Controversial content, invading privacy and Internet addiction. In this context this guide will become very useful for parents to follow.
Key points of the guideline are: Extreme use of computers
For children extreme use of computer can cause physical, social and psychological problems. Children being unaware of time while online, showing no interest in other things, feeling restless and angry if stopped from using the Internet, decrease in social activities, getting away from sporting activities, not having enough time for family members, preferring online chat instead of talking face to face.
Ease of accessing pornography and other controversial content
There is great anxiety about the possibility of harm to youth of being exposed to online pornography and other controversial content. There is clear evidence that many children who use the Internet are exposed to pornographic websites.
Violence in games
The effect of violent video games appears to be cognitive in nature. In the short term, playing a violent video game appears to affect aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. Longer term effects are likely to be longer lasting as well, as the player learns and practices new aggression related scripts that become more and more accessible for use when real-life conflict situations arise. After playing a violent computer game, you should know that your children will come home as if coming from a real war.
Internet is the place where malicious people can easily interact with innocent people. Children freely give out their home address, freely give out their email address, by means of chat programmes and web site forms which collect personal data form children.
- Rules to be set for children
- There are some sites that a child is not allowed to visit.
- Rules regarding how much time a child can spend on the Internet
- Child is not allowed to give out any personal information
- Child is not allowed to be exposed to someone he/she only met on the Internet
- Child has to tell parents if he/she finds something on the net making him/her uncomfortable
- Child is not allowed to enter chat rooms to talk with strangers
- Child is not allowed to use rude language in e-mails or chatrooms
How parents can monitor the results
There are software tools available to parents to restrict children’s computer and Internet use.
‘Time-Limiting’ software allows parents to set limits on how much time or how long a child can be using the computer or Internet.
‘Filtering and Blocking’ software limits access to some sites, words, and/or images.
‘Outgoing Content Blocking’ regulates the content leaving the computer to prevent children from revealing personal information, such as names, addresses and telephone numbers, to strangers.
‘Kid-Oriented Search Engines’ work like regular search engines but also provide special features to screen out inappropriate material.
‘Monitoring Tool’ software informs adults about children’s online activity by recording the addresses of visited websites or displaying warning messages to children if they visit inappropriate websites, without necessarily limiting access.