Adblock Plus and Safer Internet Day - keeping your kids safe! · 2018-02-06 16:56 by Jan Oczenasek
The internet is a great place for kids and teenagers to explore, learn and share experiences with their friends. But the internet can also contain harmful images and videos, inappropriate advertisements or viruses. Taking our cue from “Safer Internet Day” we would like to highlight how you can protect your child on the internet.
As well as our hints and tips, parents, teachers and relatives should educate children and young people about using the web responsibly and strengthening the development of their media competence. The Safer Internet Website features resources for every topic and even differentiates between ages. Besides these resources, a lot of countries have local websites with an event list, don’t forget to check them out!
Protect your children from abusive ads
There is a wide variety of ads on the internet. Some pop-up directly, some blink or flash. Some ads have auto play videos, while still others can contain viruses or malware. With Adblock Plus in your browser, these ads are blocked and your kids can enjoy great sites without being marketed to, or having their online activity tracked while they browse.
but what about mobile?
In 2014, we reached the point where there are more mobile devices in the world than humans – and this isn’t going to change in 2018. Sooner or later every kid will have a smartphone and using these devices safely should be an important part of a child’s education. As on desktop, it is important to supervise how your child uses their phone. With Adblock Browser for iOS and Android, or Adblock Plus for Samsung Internet and Safari, you can protect your kids from abusive and potentially harmful advertisements, tracking and malware.
Besides the pure annoyance of flashing or pop-up ads, there’s a darker and more harmful side to the world of advertising. Advertising can be sexist, over-sexualized or foster certain negative stereotypes. Blocking these advertisements plays a part in protecting your children from some of this shameful or downright inappropriate content.
Talk with your children
Sit down and use the internet together with your children and understand why they are using different websites. Give them room to show you what they experience. Young people discover the internet in a different way to the previous generation, growing up with it as a part of their everyday life experiences. Giving them room to express fears or confusion about the internet is as important as giving them room to experiment with the internet and computers. Maybe your child is a future Adblock Plus developer ;)
Besides annoying and abusive ads, there are plenty of other sneaky methods to get on your computer. Some ads can trick you into installing a certain software or ask you for personal data. Since last year there are new formats that run in the background and mine cryptocurrency with your computer – the infamous cryptojackers (read our former blog post about that). You can find other filter lists online that protect you from cryptojackers, social media buttons or tracking in general. The filter lists are the backbone of Adblock Plus and you can choose what you want to block by yourself. You and your kids are in full control to block the stuff that annoys or worries you!
Ads should be labeled as ads
Advertisement comes in different forms online but it is mostly connected to what we read, watch or search for. Some ads are cleverly disguised as news or articles, and are difficult to spot. Twenty-six percent of kids could clearly differentiate an advertisement from other content when something was labeled as an ad, as discovered by the research of the regional office for media in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Parents and teachers have a responsibility to stay informed and up-to-date, and educate young people regularly about new vulnerabilities and problems that occur on the web. A good start is the website of the Electronic Frontier. The EFF created also the awesome Privacy Badge Extension. So keep an eye on your browser, smartphone, and especially that of your children! Greetings from the ABP Team. Safe browsing!