Do you ever stop and think about how much the world, society, our lives and the internet have changed since we were teenagers? Heck, some of us didn’t grow up having the internet, and a lot of us will probably never forget that dial up internet modem sound! What used to be such a luxury, is now just an everyday ‘necessity’, that kids of today have no idea what life is like without.
But with advances in technology comes an increased risk, especially when it comes to internet safety and our children. It is a topic that shouldn’t be ignored, the moment anyone connects to the internet they are susceptible – whether it be our banking details, our email passwords, or our online identity – those risks are the obvious ones for us adults. But what are the risks for kids? Online bullying, paedophile grooming, exploitation of images – its horrifying as parents for us to think about these things. But we need to stay vigilant. Educate our children on how they can stay safe on the internet, and monitor their usage.
So what are some things that I do to ensure our safety on the internet?
When doing internet banking I always ‘LOG OFF’ after any transaction. If I’m quickly doing a money transfer / checking my balance whilst on my phone at the shops – I make sure no one is glancing over my shoulder, I also try and cover my phone as much as possible (you never know who are watching you on security cameras!).
I put our life out there on the internet, it’s kinda scary at times! Because of this, when sharing photos of my children online there are a few things I always do to add that extra barrier of protection:
- No identifiers that make it easier for us/them to be found – e.g daycare/school names on uniform showing.
- When sharing content that is at identifiable locations – I try and do this once we have left.
- No nudity – I personally become extremely uncomfortable when I see images of children on social media where they are naked, not because I’m a sicko, but because I know how these images can be manipulated and it is utterly disturbing.
From time to time I am lucky enough to receive parcels from Brands and Businesses that want to work with us, half the fun of this is sharing the opening of these with you all. However sometimes we can get carried away in the excitement and accidentally display addresses (of both the sender and recipient). I try to be extra cautious when doing parcel unboxing videos so as to not show either of these – Instagram stories can be easily paused and addresses read.
Now that Kruize is getting older and is becoming more proficient on the IPAD, I am finding that I need to monitor the content he is watching more carefully. It is so easy to stumble upon videos that aren’t appropriate for children on Youtube, one minute he’s watching toy unboxings and the next he could be watching Lil Wayne smoke a J. Super important to check all games before they play them – remember that talking animal one that was hacked?
Obviously it is a lot easier to monitor children and their internet usage when they are younger, but as they move into school/highschool which require them to use the internet for prolonged periods of time to complete homework, we clearly cannot sit beside them the entire time. Because of this, we need to start talking with them about their safety on the internet. To help us bring up the topic of conversation – Trend Micro (creators of award winning security software) has launched an online Youth Campaign. To kick things off they are holding a Poster Competition with over $14,000 worth of prizes. If you have a child between the ages of 5-12, then they are eligible to enter. Head on over to www.whatsyourstory.trendmicro.com to enter!
TELL ME, WHAT DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR CHILDREN SAFE ON THE INTERNET?
I have written this article in collaboration with Trend Micro in promoting their ‘Whats Your Story’ competition. All opinions are mine, and I think it’s AWESOME they are helping keep our kids safe on the internet (+ who doesn’t love a good competition!).