The Youth Protection Roundtable members have identified several risks and threats as relevant with regard to youth protection on the Internet. Although not all risks are of concern for all age groups, it is important to address all of them appropriately.
The risks were grouped along two dimensions, into those risks related to online content and those risks related to online contact. In both areas, some risks result from the users’ own conduct, while other risks result from the conduct of other users. The location of some of the risks depends on whether one takes the perspective of the consumer of content or the producer of content, especially when it comes to user-generated content. This underlines the need of permeability between the areas of the Matrix. Furthermore it turns out that some risks are of relevance only to specific age groups of users and therefore can only be addressed by measures tailored to the user group’s specific needs. According to these four dimensions relevant risks can be mapped.
There are several technical tools available to address the risks and threats that might arise from the use of the Internet by children and youths. The YPRT has assessed recent research and findings in regards to the effectiveness of these tools. Also the YPRT members have assessed the following technical tools and estimated their effectiveness based on their own expertise. This was done in two steps of estimation, discussion and validation leading to a high degree of consensus.
As a result, the YPRT members concluded that all technical tools need to be complemented by additional measures, i.e. empowerment through digital literacy, to be truly effective. Technical tools were therefore called supportive technologies for online youth protection.
The following version of the Matrix of risks and threats aims to demonstrate in which areas those technologies can be effective and thus support the efforts for youth protection on the Internet.