Next Tuesday (9th February) is Safer Internet Day. A day to celebrate and ‘promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people‘. As a parent and a primary school teacher I’m painfully aware of the potential dangers lurking around the Internet for our children and young people. Of course I’m also aware of the benefits. It’s about balance isn’t it? It would be easy to just ban our children from using the Internet at all but of course that’s not really practical and they would miss out on so much. What we need to do is make sure we educate them, and ourselves, about how to keep them safe.
At 6.5 Ben doesn’t have a massive amount of access to the Internet. He has his own tablet which he is allowed to use downstairs, in sight, for a limited amount of time each day. It is set up with high parental controls so only approved apps and websites are accessible via his own personal profile. He can’t download anything without us putting a password in first.
I asked Ben what he thought a safe Internet looked like and he said “ask your Mum and Dad to help you, don’t click on things you think look good without asking” which I have to say was about as good an answer as I could have hoped for from a child of his age. I was pretty pleased with his response. He’s right. It is our responsibility as parents to keep the Internet as safe as possible for him. Part of that responsibility is in education – it’s our job to teach our children about the dangers of the Internet, without scaring them half to death, and about how to use it responsibile. I think it’s also really important as parents we keep up to date with the latest social media and apps that our children might be using.
|“Safe internet is using it with a grown up except a stranger”|
Of course this is all well and good for Ben, but what keeps the Internet safe for us as adults? Not a day goes by (or an hour more likely) that I don’t get some sort of phishing email pretending to be from my bank, paypal, some random millionaire in the Middle East. Protecting myself from phishing emails is about common sense, being aware of the email address they’ve come from, checking them for errors, not clicking clinks . . . but there’s always the risk that someone will manage to hack my passwords. We all know we should make sure we use differnet passwords for everything, using upper and lower case, numbers symbols, sandwiches . . . ok I took that a step too far . . . but coming up with a million differnet passwords and remembering them is something of a challenge isn’t it! Security software such as McAfee LiveSafe or TrueKey offer trusted protection to keep your devices and passwords safe (or in the case of TrueKey a means of avoiding using a password at all).
As part of the build up to Safer Internet Day, Intel Security are offering you the chance to win a family ticket to Bletchley Park – Please be aware this giveaway is being hosted across a number of blogs and managed externally.
*This post is in collaboration with Intel Security and Tots100*