THE FOUR MAIN TYPES OF RISK
Content risk – In the simplest terms, this is the risk posed by children being exposed to inappropriate content that is not age-appropriate. This can include computer games that include violence or sexual content, pornography, or images of cruelty or violence. Controls should be put in place to mitigate the risk of children being exposed to content that is not suitable for their age and may, therefore make them feel upset, uncomfortable, or in any other way be deemed inappropriate.
Contact risk – From the very first-time children use the internet in school, they should be informed in an age-appropriate way of the risks involved in sharing personal information with people they don’t know. Children are inherently trusting, so it is a significant risk that they might share information with others, provide their contact details to strangers, or even meet someone they have met online. Effectively, this risk involves the possibility that a child may come into contact with either adults posing as children online or other individuals they don’t know.
Conduct risk – A conduct risk is the term used to describe children using the internet as a tool for bullying. They may hurt or intimidate others with their words or could destroy a game that someone they know has created. On the subject of gaming, making in-app purchases either accidentally or deliberately but without parental permission would be another example of a conduct risk.
Contract risk – Almost all websites will ask for consent to terms and conditions before they can be accessed, but it is a risk factor for children to accept terms and conditions they don’t understand. This also applies to signing up for unfair contracts, or contracts that the child doesn’t understand, or agreeing to personal data gathering despite the child not being of age (or having the competency) to make these decisions.