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The issue of protecting children on the Internet is growing with Statistics showing that more and more children, often below 15 years old, are becoming recurrent users. This kind of users Cannot realize the danger of digital tools. Their gullibility can have unsafe consequences ; the most extreme cases reported are pedophilia cases where individuals create fake accounts in order to meet their victims, using the lack of attention concerning their data protection.
Last Tuesday, the European Digital Rights (EDRi), a civil and human rights international association focusing on « digital environment », published a brochure dedicated to children between 10 and 14: « Digital Defenders versus Data Intruders – Privacy for Kids ».

These guidelines target young internet users thanks to educational video games based on reality. The content shows different characters divided in two groups: the Defenders – the good guys – and the Intruders – the bad guys. Throughout 11 chapters, the Defenders deliver advices and explain how internet and other digital tools can be dangerous for privacy. Social networks, messaging, smartphone’s security, photos and videos sharing are explained.
It also explains the value of data for companies, how they can be stolen and the consequences of sharing data without any protection.
Several ‘tutorials’ are proposed, whether it is how to create a safe password or better secure your smartphone, they are simple and accessible. Finally, the 10th chapter makes a list of secured apps and digital tools, while the last one gives hands-one for Signal, and when and how to use it. This app guarantees that no one could access your personal data.

This initiative focusing on children currently only exists in English, translations in other languages are expected to follow shortly.
It is a new approach since guidelines are made for children and not for their parents: if they can chat and share by themselves, they need to be capable of protecting their data and their digital accounts; or at least, being able to understand the potential dangers of the Internet.

Emmanuelle Gris

To find out more:

EDRi’s website:
https://edri.org

« Digital Defenders versus Data Intruders – Privacy for Kids », EDRi:
https://edri.org/files/privacy4kids_booklet_web.pdf

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