A couple of weeks ago Squidge came home from school with a drawing/diagram about bullying and being safe on the internet. At first I was taken aback by it- she’s only 7 but then I thought no, they should be taught about these things as early as possible. I’m a blogger and social media addict- I overshare and that is my choice. The world is a different place for kids of Squidge’s generation. If I was bullied it school I could escape it when I went home- not true these days. You only have to read about those poor kids who have killed themselves due to bullying to realise it really is a different world.
Then we have to think about the information we’re putting out there- who’s reading it, who’s accessing our info and following our little trails of cookies. How about our bins? If you think about it too much it’s enough to make you want to unplug all our devices and hide them in the cupboard under the stairs! When the Tots100 asked me if I would like to review some software about protecting yourself online I thought it was serendipity- perfect timing… spooky even!
- Monitor your kids’ technology use and keep the computer in a busy area of the house, where you can keep an eye on the monitor.
- When children create accounts on different social media networks, help them to use privacy protection features. Encourage them to restrict the sensitive information they are exposing.
- Understand how to use Facebook’s privacy settings. This way you can determine who sees your children’s posts, who can contact them and who can look them up. You can also manage what others can post on your children’s timeline and restrict specific users. These settings change often, so be sure to stay to date with Facebook’s privacy changes.
- Make a point of knowing who your children communicate with online.
- Insist on knowing your children’s passwords and learn the common acronyms they use online and in text messages.
- Advise your children not to respond to instants messages or emails with offensive or violent content. Encourage them to tell you or another adult if they receive threatening messages or are targeted by cyber bullies.
- Teach your kids not to share sensitive photos of themselves. They can attract the wrong type of person.
- Tell them that it’s ok not to friend people they don’t want to and not to communicate with people they don’t know because people might not be who they claim to be.
- If your children use smart phones to surf the web, guide them to be careful when installing apps. Some contain aggressive adware. Install games and other Android apps only from official market places.
- Use an antivirus solution with parental control that watches over your kids online. Parental control blocks inappropriate web content, restricts Web access between certain hours, and helps parents remotely monitor their children’s online activity.
If you want more information on Bullguard and to learn more about what they offer in terms of security…