frequently asked questions

Q. What should a parent or guardian do if they find a child access inappropriate material on the internet?

A. Try talking with the child; explain that the internet can contain bad material, often accessed accidentally, and that individual users need to take responsibility for their use of the internet. Give the child the opportunity to develop their own powers of self-discipline and discrimination, they will need these throughout their life and it is never too early to begin.

Q. I have children who seem to spend far too much time on their computer, playing games but also visiting chat room sites. I don’t know what they get up to, the PC is in their bedroom, and I am worried about what kind of things they may be looking at. What can I do?

A. Firstly move the PC to a common area such as the living or dining room. PCs can be used with headphones and can happily remain in the same room as, say, the family TV or stereo. Now you can keep an eye on things, but it is also important to talk with your children and get them to share their interests. If you are still concerned you can look at the education pages on this site where you will find further useful information. Your children may already have come across some of these materials through their schools.

Q. Is there any way I can regulate my child's internet access and check which websites have been viewed?

A. Yes you can, although the second option (which can be achieved by looking at the HISTORY pages for the internet programme being used) is a bit like spying – perhaps better to have an open conversation with your child and share your concerns. Internet content can be blocked with FILTER software. Any of the reputable PC providers in Seychelles can advise you on this and you can purchase from them, or through the internet.

Q. My child has made friends with other children on the internet through chatrooms. She now wants to meet up with some of them. Should I be concerned?

A. Yes. It is possible for a person to pretend to be other than they really are on the internet. They can post false images of themselves and false information also, particularly about their age or gender. Take a look at the films posted on this website for an idea on this. If your daughter wishes to meet a chatroom friend then you should accompany her on the first trip at least. After that the friendship may develop within your usual family rules.

Q. My parents are being really difficult, trying to control my internet access, what I do and who I chat to. I have to visit internet cafes and it is costing me money. This is stupid when there is a perfectly good internet connection at home. How can I get my parents to relax a bit?

A. Remember that your parents are acting in your interests and because they care about, and are worried about you. You need to build bridges with them and talk to them honestly so that they are reassured as to your interest in the internet. Try and involve them in some of your internet interests; sometimes parents feel left out, technologically inferior to their children, and consequently worried and fearful about what is going on. You can do a lot to prevent this.

Q. I have accessed, by accident, a disgusting and pornographic website. I have no filter software on my computer, any ideas how I can prevent such material entering my home?

A. You can install filter/firewall software, but if this is not possible, then you can report any sites that contravene the law – it sounds as if the one you mention does – to your internet service provider, who can block the site.

Q. Are there laws which control the internet?

A. No. The internet is not controlled by the internet police or anything similar. This is one reason why it can pose threats to the unwary and uninformed user. Internet Service Providers can exercise some control on what content is allowed through the system but it is really up to individual users to regulate their use of the internet and operate within the law of the land, which does cover material accessible on the web, such as indecent or obscene material. Check out the ‘Law’ section for further information specific to the Seychelles.

Q. Someone took a photograph of me and posted it on a website with a really hurtful comment about how I look. Can I do anything about this?

A. If you know who did it then the first thing to do is to ask the person to remove it. If that fails then you can contact the website directly. Some are more cooperative when dealing with such grievances than others. Finally, but only if the image or words are obscene and contravene the laws of Seychelles, you can contact the police.