With children spending an increasing amount of time online, a key concern for parents is what information their children access.
The good news is that children want more parental involvement in their online lives according to the Norton Online Family Report – because if something goes wrong, the first people kids turn to are their parents.
The Report found that children understand ethical behaviour is as important online as it is offline and are setting their own rules for acceptable online behaviour. The rules include:
- not bullying or harassing people online
- not passing on embarrassing photos or posts about others
- telling parents if they or others they know are being bullied, and
- not saying or doing things online that they wouldn’t do offline.
“As a professional internet safety advisor, even I am surprised by some of the findings in this new Report,” says Norton Internet Safety Advocate, Marian Merritt.
“Parents do worry about predators, but they seem to be overlooking more common threats such as cyber bullying. And more than half of all families are putting themselves at risk through children’s unchecked downloading behaviour.”
Ms Merritt says technology is part of the solution – but so is good parenting.
“The singularly most effective way to help keep your children safe online is to have an ongoing dialogue with them,” Ms Merritt says.
Here are some top tips from Marian Merritt and Norton to help your children’s online experiences.
To see what your child sees online, use
- the ‘history’ button on your web browser, or
- the ‘search’ tab or ‘web activity’ tab within Norton Online Family
- Involve children in setting family rules and let them know how their behaviour impacts the family.
- Explain why you don’t want children to access certain material rather than simply blocking sites.
- Explain why you’d feel better about monitoring what they do.
Social networking safety
- Tell children only to add friends they know and not ‘friends of friends’.
- Have your children add you as a friend so you can see who their friends are.
- Ask your children to let you know if someone online wants to meet them in person.
- Always go with a child if you agree for them to meet a friend in real life.
- Watch out for changes in emotion and encourage your children to talk.
- Regularly check account activity and unusual spikes in phone bills.
- Re-charge phones over night in a family area (eg. kitchen) and don’t allow them to be taken into the bedroom.
Don’t ban access
- Set rules but don’t ban access to technology as they will only seek it elsewhere – and become emotional in the process.
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Protect every device you own with Norton 360 Multi-Device – an exclusive mix of patented protection for PC, Mac, Android, iPad, and iPhone which keeps you safe when you surf, shop and bank online. Some product features not available on iPad and iPhone. For more information visit http://au.norton.com or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/NortonAU
The total prize pool is $650, and the competition closes at midnight on Sunday 2nd November.
Make sure you check out our other competitions also.