International Workshop on Child Online Safety and Harms

to be held in conjunction with the 19th International Conference on Availability, Reliability and Security

July 30 – August 02, 2024

The opportunities that online services and communication provide to children (i.e., individuals under 18 years of age) are endless – e.g., for socialisation, entertainment and education. However, the potential for harm affecting their safety, wellbeing, privacy and security are proportionally high. This workshop invites studies from different disciplines and perspectives to better understand problems and trade-offs, propose new age-appropriate solutions, mitigate harms, evaluate existing approaches, and discuss practical or research challengesWe welcome novel contributions in the format of position papers, research papers, and empirical papers (e.g., case studies) involving stakeholders such as researchers, industry practitioners, policy makers, safeguarding professionals, and NGO advocates. 

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to

Characteristics of children’s usage of online services/platforms according to age range
Age-appropriate design and auditing
Assessment of risks and harms posed to children online
Trade-offs between different goals, e.g., privacy vs. safety, risks vs. children rights
Age estimation, recognising child users, and discriminating children of different age range
Children’s data privacy and protection

Evaluation of existing mitigations and solutions to protect children online
Education of children about cyber security and online safety
Pedagogy and empirical evaluation of practices for cyber security education of children
Challenges of research involving children
Regulations and jurisdictional issues related to protection of children online

Important Dates

Submission Deadline April 29, 2024
Author Notification May 29, 2024
Proceedings Version June 18, 2024
Conference July 30 – August 02, 2024

Workshop Chairs

Virginia N. L. Franqueira
University of Kent, UK

Tatiana Ringenberg
Purdue University, US

Jayati Dev
Comcast Cyber Security Research, US

Brian N. Levine
University of Massachusetts Amherst, US

Program Commitee

Oshrat Ayalon, University of Haifa, IL
Clay Shields, Georgetown University, US
Neidi De Carvalho, UNICEF, NL
Diana Freed, Brown University, US
Tracee Green, University of Kent, UK
Shelby Grossman, Stanford Internet Observatory, US
Veronika Kalmus, University of Tartu, EE
Juliane Kloess, University of Birmingham, UK
Shujun Li, University of Kent, UK
Rebecca Portnoff, Thorn, US
Chad Steel, George Mason University, US
Christine Trueltzsch-Wijnen, Salzburg University of Education, AT and Charles University, CZ
Bryce Westlake, San Jose State University, US

Best Paper Award

The best paper award will be sponsored by the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS), University of Kent, UK. The decision criterion will consider both the paper quality and the oral presentation quality.

Submission Guidelines

The submission guidelines can be found at (6-8 pages, a maximum of 10 pages is tolerated). Double blind review: All papers submitted to EasyChair should be anonymized (no names or affiliations of authors should be visible in the paper) with no obvious self-references. Submission of a paper implies that should the paper be accepted, at least one of the authors will register and present the paper in the workshop. Proceedings will be published by ACM.


Caroline Roth-Ebner
University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Mediatized Childhood: Navigating the Opportunities and Risks in an Ever-Connected World

Today, children are immersed in and exposed to media from the moment of their birth or even before (e.g., through ultrasound pictures shared on Social Media). Childhood under these circumstances can be termed a mediatized childhood, with media such as tablet computers, smartphones, and their applications being ubiquitous. Throughout childhood, media function not only as tools for communication and networking but also as status symbols, sources of orientation and means of self-representation. Consequently, they exert a significant influence on children’s identity formation. The effects of a mediatized childhood on the young are complex and contingent upon various contextual factors, with education being particularly noteworthy. Numerous studies have shown that the extent to which children benefit from media in their development often relies on their parents’ level of education. Depending on such circumstances, as well as situational factors, one and the same phenomenon can manifest both as an opportunity and a risk. For instance, while social media can foster social inclusivity by connecting people, it can also facilitate destructive communication, such as hate speech or cyberbullying. Media literacy, defined as the ability to use media in a responsible, safe, and self-determined way, is regarded as pivotal for maximizing benefits and mitigating harm. However, such competencies do not naturally develop through media usage alone. Children require active support and guidance in their media practices. This responsibility cannot be solely delegated to parents, who are indeed crucial role models and co-educators, but also demands heightened attention and prioritization on the political agenda.

Caroline Roth-Ebner is an associate professor at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Her primary research areas include mediatization processes across various domains, particularly the mediatization of childhood and office work. She investigates children and youth media usage and the commercialization and mediatization of childhood, focusing on qualitative research methods. She has contributed to discussions on children’s media consumption environments and parental mediation, as evidenced by her publication in Communications in 2022. Her habilitation thesis in 2014 examined the mediatization of office work, while her doctoral thesis in 2007 explored youth perceptions of a TV casting show.