As children grow up constantly connected and online, there’s a growing and ever-present danger of them being exposed early to inappropriate content and internet fraud.
The good news is that, according to Google’s latest Online Safety Survey, the majority of parents in the Philippines (87.4%) are confident in engaging their child on the topic of online safety.
However, parents are finding it increasingly challenging to keep up, with 53.2% of Filipino parents having difficulty finding the right time to talk about online safety with their children, an increase from 40% in 2022.
At the same time, digital ground rules are changing, as their child grows up: 71.1% of parents in the Philippines expect to change their rules for their child’s internet use as their child gets older.
As part of its commitment and mission to make the internet safer for people all over, Google has a variety of useful features to improve the online experiences of children and parents alike.
A safer, more age-appropriate Google Search
This year’s survey showed that the most common online safety issue for children is seeing inappropriate content online, occurring at least once to 61% of children (compared to 54% last year), followed by seeing misinformation, deceptive ads or spam, and violent content.
Fortunately, there are easy-to-use solutions for parents. They can activate age-appropriate content restrictions on Google Play and Search via Family Link. They can also use another useful feature in SafeSearch, which is on by default for signed-in users under 18 and helps filter inappropriate, explicit, and mature content. Its new blurring setting, which is now available to everyone, automatically blurs explicit imagery — such as adult or graphic violent content — by default when it appears in Search results.
Setting online ground rules with Family Link
As children grow older, parents may need to adjust their digital ground rules. According to the survey, 69% of parents in Asia Pacific plan to change their house rules with time, and 49% will allow their children to spend more time online as they age.
The majority of these parents use technology to support their children’s education, help them explore their interests, and find high-quality educational content.
Parents are also learning how to use technology to keep up. For example, apps like Family Link allow parents to easily set digital ground rules and manage screen time.
Providing safer online exploration
Google also has products that easily turn the internet into a great environment for learning. For example, YouTube Kids provides a more contained and curated environment for kids to explore on YouTube, making it easier for parents and caregivers to guide that process.
Meanwhile, supervised experience on YouTube becomes handy, allowing parents who have decided their tween or teen is ready to explore more of YouTube to do so through a supervised Google Account.
With exploration of the internet also comes the vulnerability to online fraud. Parents across Asia Pacific also flagged concerns around their children oversharing information on social media (45% at least once) and receiving unwanted attention from strangers (38% at least once).
That’s why, in addition to using technology with built-in protection, it’s crucial to educate children through resources like the free digital literacy curriculum Be Internet Awesome.
Embracing technology with guardrails for safe, reliable content and also empowering kids to make informed decisions are essential in today’s digital parenting. Parents, together with Google, can help children stay safe and thrive in the online world.