Not all internet contents are suitable for every age group. It is up to parents and legal guardians to protect minors against harmful contents. To be able to achieve that, it is helpful to foster competence and skill in the use of media, to implement technical solutions and to report inappropriate internet contents.

The eco Complaints Office

The eco – Association of the Internet Industry runs a complaints office for reports about illegal and harmful internet contents. Internet users can issue reports anonymously if they wish to do so. The Complaints Office’s legal experts assess the reported contents. Should they indeed be found to be illegal, notice and takedown measures are initiated. This work naturally does not cause costs for the reporting internet users. You can find more information about the eco Complaints Office and their work launch here.

Technical Solutions

Technical solutions help parents and legal guardians to protect minors from harmful content. Find below some examples of such programs; please note that these solutions as of now only have German versions. 

1. fragFINN – the kid-friendly search site

fragFINN offers a safe space for exploring the internet for kids from 6 to 12 years. The search engine on launch and the corresponding browser app for smartphones ensure only child safe contents and websites that have been approved as such by media education experts are displayed.

2. Youth Protection Applications

Youth Protection Applications help parents to make sure their kids can only access internet content appropriate for their age. This kind of software does that by e.g. checking a voluntary age restriction set by a website operator. There is a multitude of such programs out there. JusProg is a popular one of those and it is also accredited according to § 11 JMStV (German State Treaty of Youth Protection in the Media).

Fostering Media Competence and Skills

eco is a cooperating partner of the launch klicksafe initiative. On behalf of the European Union, klicksafe aims to raise awareness about the need to foster media competence in young people and help develop their skillset. Thus, the project’s information is directed at minors just as much as at parents, teachers, organizations, institutions and website operators.