You kids may be digitally savvy. But are they digitally-safe?
While kids today are adept at navigating the worldwide web, they are very susceptible to poor judgement and may not be in positions to take care of themselves. This is clearly demonstrated in the results of a study done by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPV) in Singapore on 1500 local students and their online habits (2008).
Children as young as five years old are going online these days. The older kids are engaged in social media activities like Facebook and twitter, while the younger ones go online to play games in communities like Club Penguin, or to access YouTube to watch their favorite programs.
50% of our children have accepted strangers as friends on social networks
25% admitted to having suffered cyber-bullying
According to Myla Pilao, Director of Core Technology (marketing) at TREND Micro™, a digital security company specializing in cyber security, “we receive 5 billion cyber threats on any given day. Cyber criminals use gaming platforms to prey on us and our children. Security is no longer an option. Security means survival and we need to be responsible for our own security.”
Parents want to support their children’s endeavours on the internet, yet are greatly concern over their safety. Here are some ways to create a safer surfing experience for your child — tips for parents to protect our kids and teach them digital safety at the same time.
1. Practical tips for the family to follow
- Keep the computer in a common area
- Agree to time limits for using the internet and all social devices
- Keep software security up-to-date
- Agree on websites your kids visit (for younger children)
- Use URL filtering
- Review the content and the privacy and security policies of the sites your child frequents
- Have a conversation with your kids about entering personal information online
- Remind your kids to ignore unwanted contact with people you have never met.
2. Educate your child on cyber awareness
Introduce your kids to Cyberonia, a new initiative targeted at all 11 year old students (primary 5) in Singapore. It is a new virtual world game where kids are engaged and taught how to handle the many facets of cyber wellness, cyber safety and cyber security. Click here for more information on Cyberonia.
3. Secure your cyber space
Avoid cyber security pitfalls by investing in a good security tool like the Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012. Some of the key features include a tool that visually identifies safe and malicious links on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
For the concerned parent, Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012 can be quickly customized to protect your children from inappropriate websites, limit their time on the Internet and see detailed activity reports about what they do online.
Retailing at S$39 (1 year/1user) or S$109 (1 year/3 users), Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Cloud Edition Maximum Security 2012 is money well spent as it offers quality protection for your cyber activities. And that means peace of mind when your kids are surfing online.
Just as we take all precautions to protect them in their physical environment, we should also take similar if not more prudent measures to ensure their safety in the virtual world that they are threading in. Tell us what steps you have taken and whether it has worked for you and your kids.
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Till our next post, love yourself, love one another, stay strong and be free.