Keeping Children Safe Online: Understanding the Concerns of Carers of Children with Autism

  • Mike JustEmail author
  • Tessa Berg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10515)


Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty making sense of the world, and have an impaired ability to socially interact. This impacts their ability to understand inappropriate behaviour or recognize dangers online. Because of this, parent carers of children with ASD struggle to protect their children online. In this paper, we report on the results of two workshops with 16 parent carers of children with ASD in which we used rich pictures and group discussions to identify carers’ concerns and protection methods. Our results indicate that carers have significant challenges with protecting their children, who they describe as “devious” and “obsessive”, though also “clever” and “naive”. In addition, carers often rely on physical controls and rules, which meet with limited success. From our results, we highlight the importance of educational approaches, and recommend the development of educational nudging tools to assist children, and to keep them safe online.


Autism spectrum disorder, ASD Carer Caregiver Safety Security Privacy Protection 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematical and Computer SciencesHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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