We were shell-shocked on leaving our son’s primary school last night after listening to a Cyber Safety & Anti-Bullying evening.
We work in the IT industry and thought we have a good understanding of security and generally, whats happening with software.
Boy, were we wrong!
In the first minute, we learnt about new software specifically for smart-phones (not computers), that is targeting our kids.
Not only had we not heard about it, it seems lots of kids have heard about, its free, easy to download without the knowledge of a parent.
Fast, Simple, Personal Smartphone Messaging
Kik is the fast, simple, and personal smartphone messenger that connects you to everyone you love to talk to.
We discovered kids are downloading this free messenger that leaves them wide open to anyone out there.. yep, scammers, predators, paedophiles, you name it, they know about it.
Don’t get us wrong, we love good software, but it must come with the appropriate levels of security for our children, which brings us to Facebook.
Many of us grew up in a world different to our children, without computers, without Facebook. With that in mind, we are unaware of the dangers of social networking preying on our children.
Security, privacy settings, passwords, safety, scams were all topics mentioned during the evening.
My advice, if you have a child then use the links below and learn about what steps YOU (that adult) must take to safeguard your children.
We learnt that you cannot rely on the word of your children, nor on many of the other parents who had allowed children under the required age to obtain Facebook accounts. If they allow their children to have Facebook accounts under the required age, then they most likely allow their children to participate in many of the things they warned us about. Its where it all starts..
I suggest you grab a coffee, and spend a good hour looking through these excellent resources and arm yourself with knowledge to protect your children online:
- 20 Things I Learned Online – For things you’ve always wanted to know about the web but were afraid to ask.
- How Secure is My Password – This is a beauty, simply key in your password to see how secure it is.
- Password Meter – creates passwords from words, that are easier to remember
- AdjustYourPrivacy – I really liked this one. First login to all your social media accounts and then go to this web site. It provides links to each account where you can adjust your privacy settings. Something I do know, many of these social media web sites make it hard to find where the settings are, and this site fixes that.
- Google Family Safety – How you can protect your family online.
- Scamwatch – the old saying, if it looks too good to be true then it probably is… here is the place to find out.
What Goes Online | Stays Online.. forever!
We heard a number of examples where things you or your children do today, can affect you in years to come.
How often do news services report details of people Facebook accounts as a source of information.
A simple LIKE today, may be viewed as supporting something that is reviled tomorrow.
A simple picture of a friend, can change their lives.
Help yourself, to help your children!