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In the digital age, the internet has been easy access for everyone. This, on one hand, serves the purpose of the internet but on the other hand, it is afflicting the users. Especially under-age users who are using restricted online services which are a source of disconcerting for them. Children are exposed to an array of unending social media networks, channels, and games. Some mobile and desktop applications are not for children and due to neglection of online websites and parents, children get access to inappropriate stuff. Let’s take an example of a Tinder application.
When tinder started blocking the account of online users younger than the legal age, many parents were surprised to see that their children were actually involved with strangers online and go out to meet them. Now, this alone is not the mistake of service providers, but yes parents should also have a strict eye on the activities of their children. Tinder secured its account from under-age users by embedding checks for age verification online. Now, any user would be checked against his/her age to register for an online account.
Some social media networks simply ask for the date and month of birth to see that the user is not under-age. But, this is not an ultimate solution. There should be strict checks implemented in the system to verify the age of the children and this can be done by integrating API from the age verification system providers that would verify the user using some supporting document. Also, to comply with the local regulators there is a dire need to ensure transparency in the system while providing a robust and streamlined online system with embedded age verification checks. Below are three ways that can help avoid the under-age users from accessing inappropriate stuff online:
Online industries are at high risk of under-age user access. These industries include dating application, pharmacies, drug platforms, gaming sites, and gambling sites. Parents themselves have no idea about it and their children use credit cards to perform online transactions and buy restricted items like e-cigarettes, alcohol, heroin and other drugs. There should be stringent checks to verify the age of the user and allow access to the services. This can be done in many ways. Online banking platforms use document verification that specifies the age of users, driving license or id card verification can also help reduce the entrance of restricted users. Age verification app are available that are integrated with online system and provide automated service for age verification. In this way, online systems can secure their platforms while complying with the local regulators and their regimes.
Parents and teachers can restrict permissions on the devices that can be connected to the internet. Controlled access can restrict children from opening applications that are not for them. Parental applications are available on application stores which parents can install to restrict the time and applications on the device. Also, they can look at the activities of their children. The application turns off the device when the playtime o a child is over.
The communication gap between children and parents should be covered. Parents should talk to their children about which applications are right and which are not for them. Sometimes the neglection of parents becomes the reason for an uncontrolled child which costs them with disturbance about a child's future. Teachers should teach students and take care of their activities and inform parents. Education and communication play an incredibly important role because civilized upbringing begins from home and schools.
These basic steps can reduce the amount of under-age users who are active online and involve themselves in bad activities. The fraudsters online are always in search of vulnerable points and children become their prey. A lot of criminal activities have identities of children associated with them as they are less to be involved in any such activities before so get the target of money launderers and terrorists. Therefore, as an online user, children's identity is risky. It should be prevented using serious measures to avoid cases of identity theft.