Everyone's going digital – even your kids! Can you keep up and keep them safe? As a Vodafone Malta Foundation initiative, we're here to help.

Our project has come to an end... Thanks for following!

The time has come to say goodbye to all of you, our wonderful followers. The ibrowsesafely.com.mt project, launched by the Vodafone Malta Foundation, has now come to an end.

Thank you for reading, watching, contributing and sharing your beautiful stories with us.
Thank you for being a vital part of our community!

For ongoing advice & guidance for online safety visit BeSmartOnline.

99.4% of primary & secondary school children have access to the internet*

– Do you know how to keep your kids safe?

*Children’s Internet Use and Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children’s Online Experience.
A study commissioned by the MCA, April 2015.

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1 in 5 teens have been cyberbullied**

– Do you know how to recognise the signs?

 

 

**Vodafone Survey by YouGov among 4,720 13-18 year olds in 11 countries

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47.5 % of children in primary and secondary schools have lied about their age on social networking sites*

  – Are you aware?

 

*Children’s Internet Use and Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children’s
Online Experience. A Study Commissioned by the MCA, April 2015

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78% of children look to their parents for info on online safety.*

 – Are you ready to guide them?

*Children’s Internet Use and Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children’s Online Experience.
A study commissioned by the MCA, April 2015.

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85% of children in form 4 use
the internet daily*

– Do you know what they are up to online?

*Children’s Internet Use and Parents’ Perceptions of Their Children’s Online Experience.
A study commissioned by the MCA, April 2015.

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More than 50% of teens believe cyberbullying is worse than bullying offline**

 – Do you know how to help them?

**Vodafone Survey by YouGov among 4,720 13-18 year olds in 11 countries

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43% believe that cyber bullying is a bigger problem than drug abuse**

– Do you speak to your kids about online usage?

**Vodafone Survey by YouGov among 4,720 13-18 year olds in 11 countries

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Educator Zone

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Parent Zone

Find out how to keep up to date with your child’s digital experience

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Emotion Coaching – the key to online safety and resilience in children

Keeping children safe online is no different from keeping them safe in everyday life. A strong emotional connection between children and parents is one of the building blocks to nurture resilience in children through emotion coaching and by fostering emotional intelligence to help keep them safe. Research has consistently indicated that children who are able to build a strong emotional connection with at least one parent and can communicate openly and honestly with them about difficulties have an inherent resilience when it comes to day to day life, including internet safety and use. This resilience is achieved through emotional intelligence* which refers to: an ability to identify and understand one’s own emotions successfully use emotions during social interactions use emotional awareness when solving problems keep distress from clouding one’s ability to think be in control of how and when feelings are expressed Emotional intelligence is essential as it allows your child awareness and control over what he or she does. It results in lower levels of stress which is associated with better health and enables more satisfying friendships and lasting relationships. Emotional intelligence also gives children better ability to calm themselves and concentrate when faced with challenging situations and makes change easier to deal with. It is distinct from intelligence, meaning that a child with low IQ and low educational achievement scores can have high emotional intelligence scores. Children who are emotionally intelligent will be less likely to communicate with strangers online or even to use the internet as frequently as they are more likely to be satisfied with their personal relationships and to be involved and positively engaged... read more

Cyber safety

Today the Internet has become part of our lives. It has also created a few new words – when we want to know about something, we say “google it”……20 years ago it meant nothing. For the younger kids it is part of life and cannot even imagine life without it. Unfortunately the Internet has also a dark side. Nobody “owns” it which means that anybody can put just about anything and although sites like Youtube or Facebook will remove inappropriate or offensive content, it can be found elsewhere. This availability causes problems when children surf the web. What makes this particularly difficult to control is that often very innocuous looking links take the user to very non-innocous places…. If your children use your computer, set up user accounts for each of them (and one for you). You can put individual programs on each account – for example children would need a web browser but little else, and web browsers usually have security settings plus Windows itself has security settings – Control panel>Internet Options – I am talking about Windows but I imagine other operating systems have similar settings. Then there is software like Net Nanny (http://www.netnanny.com/) that controls and filters whatever you do and much more. Another area to watch out is a favorite:Facebook. Today almost everybody uses it, especially young people. Unfortunately it’s popularity also makes it an ideal place for dodgy activity. People tend to give too much details about themselves – apart from name they give adress, school, interests, hobbies and much more. Gathering all this data, one can make a pretty good profile of the... read more

Where’s the pen and paper?

The other day I was chatting casually to a priest when the subject turned to issues to do with the internet.  I enquired as to how in his view and experience the internet was affecting marriage and was intrigued by his answers.  Today, couples are using social media to resolve their issues.  Emails to sort out their problems and social media to externalise them or ‘cover’ them up.  Seeking refuge in such a public space can no doubt lead to many a misunderstanding and further complications.  Not to mention the added complication of comment boards from people who are close and not so close. The truth is that ICT has changed every aspect of our lives.  Marriage and relationships are one such aspect.  Smart phones and social media applications have made it easier to communicate. Gone are the days when our children’s budding romance had to wait for the weekend or that lone telephone call – today its full on social media.  Photos on Instagram, messages that are the subject of various comments, facebook posts and whatsapp messages.  We are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to means of communication today.  It has become so second nature that we feel almost lost without our phones or internet connection. The speed of communications has ironically hindered traditional communications.  Only recently I wanted to thank one of our excellent consultants for the great job he did on a family member.  I sat down and wrote a letter and got the children to do the same.  I have always valued written letters and thought this small gesture will be appreciated.  Indeed... read more

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6 GOLDEN RULES

 

Appreciate your child’s technological knowledge.

Be aware of the benefits and dangers of technology.

Spend time with your child using the technology they use.

Explain safe/unsafe use of technology to your child.

Keep up to date with technology

Pay attention to age ratings when choosing activities for your child.