The internet is a necessity that the modern man will find hard to live without. With 60% of the world connected online, part of this audience includes children and teens.
It is difficult for families to prevent access altogether as times have changed and more than 5.7 million kids below the age of 11 have a device through which they can explore the internet. Hence it is still a worry for parents and businesses to ensure these underaged users are protected from the possible dangers that take place online.
Although these young users primarily use the internet for the sake of entertainment and leisure. However, they are still attracted to places where they should not be browsing such as online shopping sites but are lured regardless largely due to ads that appear in games and videos. This causes temptation in making purchases using their parents’ credit cards with them ever knowing until it’s too late.
Especially with games now making use of in-game purchasable content to attract revenue from devoted players which include minors as well. The cases of kids making ridiculous purchases such as the well-known story of how one child spent £3,160 in a single game.
This is why online age verification is becoming increasingly adopted by businesses to protect kids for the following reasons:
1. To follow child protection laws
There are specific laws such as ‘The Digital Economy Act’ that make it for businesses highly crucial to check and prove the age of customers and users before providing adult-only content.
Gambling businesses especially need to abide by the laws to avoid facing fines seeing how 16% of gamblers online happen to be minors. Online Age Verification is being taken up to follow with KYC and AML regulations to identify individuals.
It’s a challenge for businesses to prove the age of their customers merely using email accounts due to the simplicity and ease for kids to make one using a fake date of birth.
This opens them up to age-restricted content and products such as alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal things which for this reason there exist particular laws namely the ‘Children and Young Persons Act of 1991’, ‘Licensing Act of 2003’, and much more.
2. To shield kids away from cyberbullies
Online age verification saves young users from harsh behavior on social media and in games, etc. Despite the minimum age being 14 for most platforms, children as young as 10 years old find their way into the internet thanks to the widespread usage of devices in every family.
Besides cyberbullies, these children are exploitable targets for criminals including pedophiles and identity thieves. Abused users are more probable to become victims of fraud, according to a study. This makes the need for online age verification highly necessary for platforms to curb threats and provide a safe haven online for all.
3. To protect children from Identity Theft
With more than 1 million children falling victim to identity theft in 2017, it is scary how criminals target innocent young ones especially those online on social media because of how vulnerable they are from being phished due to the lack of experience and knowledge to stay protected on the internet.
This alerts all kinds of websites including social media to ensure proper age verification is done to prevent people too young from making an account.
Thieves target children for identity theft due to how little authorities suspect illegal activity being committed by them. This is why the verification of ID’s helps greatly to prevent kids from harmful risks.