When it comes to online activity parents are most concerned about their children unknowingly interacting with predators and pedophiles. This concern is warranted, according to Intel Security’s new study “The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online,” which says 19 per cent of youth would meet or have met someone in person that they first met online.
“Parents must have frequent and open conversations with their children about their online behaviour as well as its risks and rewards,” said Brenda Moretto, Canadian consumer manager at Intel Security. “This type of transparent communication may help build stronger trust between parents and children; hopefully this will encourage children to share more information about their online interactions, and, in turn, alert their parents when they encounter any suspicious activity or conversations online.”
In addition to its findings, the report offers five “cyber parenting” tips to help facilitate online safety.
1. Connect With Your Kids. Talk casually and frequently with them about the online risks, and make sure the communication lines are open. Foster discussions around relevant news stories or cases at schools.
2. Set Password Rules. To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Put a consequence in place for breaking this critical password rule.
3. Read App Reviews. By reading app flags, age restrictions (ranks include: everyone, low maturity, medium maturity, or high maturity) and customer reviews on an app, you will be able to discern if an app is going to be suitable for your child.
4. Gain Access. Parents should have passwords for their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices to have full access.
5. Up Your Tech Knowledge. Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use. Stay knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks. While you don’t have to create an account, it is important to understand how they work and if your kids are on them.