As a parent, I was disturbed by a survey which found that one in two teenagers here has been exposed to pornographic materials, with some as young as seven years old ("Half of teens here exposed to pornography: Survey"; last Saturday).
For most children, the Internet is an integral tool for daily interactions with their friends and teachers, and is a means to understand the modern world.
A practical way to minimise pornography's adverse effects on children is to empower them through parental guidance.
First, parents should overcome their inhibitions and communicate directly with their children, to inculcate the right values in them.
Second, parents should learn about the Internet and understand the types of activities their children are involved in in cyberspace.
Third, parents should discuss and reach a consensus with their children on guidelines on Internet and mobile device usage. They should also address potential issues arising from sharing personal details online, online chatting and webcam interaction with strangers.
Lastly, computers, tablets and personal devices should be installed with firewalls and anti-virus software to protect younger users.
Edward Tay Wee Meng
This article was first published on Sep 9, 2014.
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