April 17, 2021

“If your child asks for a mobile, have him sign a contract” – La Provincia


Howpolice inspector and cybercrime expert,Silva BarreraHe has seen things that many fathers and mothers would never believe. Therefore, he combines his professional activity with disclosure. His talks and articles have one objective: to offer weapons to parents to deal in a healthy way with the online world in which their children were born. The public agent ‘Our children in the network. 50 things we should know for a good digital prevention‘(edited by Current Platform), a guide to promote good digital practices and increase family tranquility.

-Affirms that the first challenge of fathers and mothers is to know the internet and social networks.

-No need to have a master’s degree, but knowledge is something basic. And I also talk about video games, for the record. If your child starts in that world, it cannot be that you ignore everything. You should know, at least the rules and the age for which they are allowed.

-What are parents do if they don’t?

-To the source of information and knowledge of their children is the network, which is an adult world without filters. They will consume the information they want.

“-We can give a three-year-old boy a mobile € as long as he doesn’t have internet,” he warns in his book.

-With three or five years there are children who know how to search Google, it is innate in them. It is essential to have technical control mechanisms so that they do not access certain contents. If you do not, you are minimizing the risk. The moment you lose sight of your child, an advertising banner can appear on the screen, which takes you to a casino. If you leave your cell phone to play you have to know that your phone has your history and your applications. All that is tracked by the video game that you have downloaded and will have advertising content related to what you have consumed, so do not be surprised if your little one ends up in an online casino. And if you have linked your credit card you can imagine what can happen. The network makes everything easy and fast.

-What weapons do we have to combat all this?

-The first, lead by example. We should spend as little time as possible on the internet in front of our children. If we have social networks, let’s be careful. If we are publishing videos and personal information all day they will end up seeing it as natural. When we face them for this they can tell us: “If you do it, why don’t I?” Before giving a mobile with internet connection, set rules and limits. With a contract, for example.

-A contract with our children?

-Yes, to make the rules very clear. Minors will undertake to navigate only on the pages and applications in which their parents have given permission. They will also commit to using the internet in a positive way, neither to insult anyone nor to mess with friends. The connection time will be agreed and it will be accepted that the parents check the mobile from time to time. If your kid signs all those conditions, then give him the ‘smartphone’. And make it clear that if the conditions are breached there will be consequences, which can be, for example, two days without a telephone. Or a month.

-What more weapons do fathers and mothers have?

-Establish trust relationship with them. If you are all day saying that the mobile is bullshit and that the internet is the worst, you get nothing because it is the world in which they have grown and are going to live. It is not a passing fad, it is a reality with a lot of information, a lot of consumerism, a lot of social relationships and very fast. If we deprive him of that, he will take your cell phone in secret or take it from another person. Do not criminalize internet and technology. The child should know that he can count on you. Social networks can be used from the age of 14. Want to get a profile? Well, believe it together.

– Warn you should never put your photo. He also recommends that parents not put their children’s photos on their social networks.

-It’s that you have to respect the privacy of the child and you never know what can happen. Many parents, if not all, put their children’s photos on their profiles. As an excuse they say that few people have their phone. It is true that there is not so much loose predator out there, but let’s try to respect to the maximum the privacy of our children and their image.

-Many fathers and mothers are concerned, and rightly so, cyberbullying.

Parents should not allow children to make WhatsApp groups. For what? For starters if you are under 16 you cannot use that social network. As adults we know that these groups last a long time and that in many occasions it only serves to send videos and stupid things. You know that will happen, so why do you allow your child to do it? Who will be in that group? Who is going to manage it, a 12 year old boy?

-If we don’t let them be they will accuse us of being the outcasts of the class.

-Ok, then watch for that group and tell them that at the very least you see something weird, be it weird photos or insults, you will have to leave. There are minors who are recorded naked in school locker rooms and then put it in the WhatsApp group. Are they aware that they may end up being accused of exchanging child pornography?

-Can parents spy on their children’s mobile?

-There are those who do, but children have the right to privacy. Of course, if you suspect that something is happening with your child, your duty as a father is to make sure he is safe.

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