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时间:2017-12-31 23:38来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

For Children, the Digital World Is Good and Bad

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

For children, internet access is a double-edged sword. In other words, being able to get online can be both good and bad for kids.

On the good side, digital technology can connect a child to information and to a larger community. It can bring future opportunities for work and career.

But on the bad side, it can also bring great harm and stress – especially for a child who does not know how to use the internet thoughtfully.

A new report from the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, or UNICEF, explores both the good and bad of the internet for young people.

The Digital divide

Being online has many benefits. In fact, access to the internet can change a child’s life, says Laurence Chandy. He is the Director of Data Research and Policy for UNICEF.

"We sincerely believe that -- especially for kids in places where opportunities are few or for children who are disabled, living in remote places -- it is completely intuitive that the internet has enormous potential and is already helping1 children access opportunity that just wasn't conceivable not long ago."

But the UNICEF report estimates that around one-third of the world's youth -- most in developing countries -- are not online. For example, in Africa, only 40 percent of children are online. In Europe, by contrast, 88 percent are.

These offline children, the report notes, are missing out on the benefits offered by internet access. We call the gap between those who can easily get online and those who can't the "digital divide."

Experts at UNICEF say the digital divide is not fair and needs to change. They stress that children everywhere must have access to the tools that will help them to participate and compete in an ever-growing digital economy.

The dangers of the digital world

UNICEF reports that one in three internet users around the world is a child. Even though so many children are online, the organization says little is known about the impact of digital technology on child's well-being2.

More importantly, the report finds that little is being done to protect children from the dangers of the digital world.

For example, many children around the world have a digital footprint before they can actually walk and make real footprints. Parents often post photos of their children and share stories about them. And a child’s medical records may be stored in the cloud.

As children grow, they may share additional details about themselves or photos and videos of themselves. But making all this personal information public may put a child at risk.

Lawrence Chandy explains that these risks include the misuse3 of children's private information, access to harmful content and cyberbullying.

Besides, cyberbullying, Lawrence Chandy says children are also at risk from online criminal networks. These criminals target children for some of the worst forms of exploitation and abuse, such as human trafficking and online child sexual abuse.

He says safeguarding children's privacy on the internet is an issue of major concern.

"We really emphasize the importance of putting in place safeguards to prevent children's personal data from falling in the wrong peoples' hands and protecting their identities. This is an issue which is only going to grow in importance."

UNICEF is asking governments, schools, businesses in digital technology and telecom industries to make these two things priorities: giving more children access to the internet; and then protecting them when they are online.

If your child is online, the website Parenting.com gives the following safety advice.

Know the online sites your child uses. You know the physical places where your child hangs out and who they are hanging out with. So, you should also know where they are online and with whom.

Set house rules. Decide how much time your child spends online and how they use the internet.

Teach them to protect their own privacy. Tell them:

- never to give their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal4 address, school, or picture without your permission;

- not to open e-mail from people they don't know;

- not to respond to hurtful or disturbing messages;

- not to get together with anyone they "meet" online.

Keep the computer in a central spot in your home. It is easy to watch your child’s use of the computer if the device in a commonly-used area, like the kitchen.

Use software and other technologies to your advantage. Use safe-surfing options such as filters and privacy settings on your child’s browsers5. But know that a child who knows computers may be able to change these settings.

Parents, caregivers, teachers and school administrators6, businesses and policymakers need to work together to ensure safe access and protect children from the possible harm of an every-growing digital world.

And that’s the Health & Lifestyle report.

I’m Anna Matteo.

Words in This Story

access – n. a way of being able to use or get something

double-edged sword – n. something that has both good and bad parts or results

remote – adj. far away from other people, houses, cities, etc.

disabled – adj. having a physical or mental disability : unable to perform one or more natural activities (such as walking or seeing) because of illness, injury, etc.

intuitive – adj. easily and quickly learned or understood

enormous – adj. very great in size or amount

potential – n. capable of becoming real

conceivable – adj. able to be imagined : imaginable or possible

contrast – n. to be different especially in a way that is very obvious

cloud – n. the computers and connections that support cloud computing7

digital footprint – n. the information about a particular person that exists on the Internet as a result of their online activity.

cyberbullying – n. the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (such as a student) often done anonymously8

exploit – v. to use (someone or something) in a way that helps you unfairly

emphasize – v. to give special attention to (something)

data – n. facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something


1 helping 2rGzDc     
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
2 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
3 misuse XEfxx     
  • It disturbs me profoundly that you so misuse your talents.你如此滥用自己的才能,使我深感不安。
  • He was sacked for computer misuse.他因滥用计算机而被解雇了。
4 postal EP0xt     
  • A postal network now covers the whole country.邮路遍及全国。
  • Remember to use postal code.勿忘使用邮政编码。
5 browsers b559db93c279b7e4886705cb45f7ca9c     
  • Three-layer architecture is a model made up of browser, web server and background database server. 这种体系结构是由Browser、Web Server、Database Server组成的浏览器/Web服务器/后台数据库服务器三层模型。 来自互联网
  • Another excellent approach is to abandon the browser entirely and, instead, create a non-browser-based, Internet-enabled application. 另一个非常好的方法是干脆放弃浏览器,取而代之,创建一个不基于浏览器,但却是基于互联网的应用。 来自About Face 3交互设计精髓
6 administrators d04952b3df94d47c04fc2dc28396a62d     
n.管理者( administrator的名词复数 );有管理(或行政)才能的人;(由遗嘱检验法庭指定的)遗产管理人;奉派暂管主教教区的牧师
  • He had administrators under him but took the crucial decisions himself. 他手下有管理人员,但重要的决策仍由他自己来做。 来自辞典例句
  • Administrators have their own methods of social intercourse. 办行政的人有他们的社交方式。 来自汉英文学 - 围城
7 computing tvBzxs     
  • to work in computing 从事信息处理
  • Back in the dark ages of computing, in about 1980, they started a software company. 早在计算机尚未普及的时代(约1980年),他们就创办了软件公司。
8 anonymously czgzOU     
  • The manuscripts were submitted anonymously. 原稿是匿名送交的。
  • Methods A self-administered questionnaire was used to survey 536 teachers anonymously. 方法采用自编“中小学教师职业压力问卷”对536名中小学教师进行无记名调查。
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