Technology is all around us — it’s where we work, how we communicate and even how we entertain ourselves with music and movies. Our favorite gadgets help to make our lives easier but, when it’s in the hands of our children, can also come with many safety risks.
While these risks are prevalent and constantly increasing, as parents we have to remember that the actual technology is not to blame. Tech isn’t the “bad guy.” However, we can’t always control how others will use this technology and that’s where these ever-growing safety risks come into play. It’s some of the people using the technology that are to blame for cyberbullying and social media scams, not the actual technology itself.
“The technology is really only an avenue for issues and experiences which existed prior to the Internet, only the media has changed,” Internet safety expert, Ryan Moreau, points out.
The solution? Embrace technology! Many parents are already becoming more tech-savvy to better relate to their kids, and some are even using social media as a communication tool.
Trend Micro recently conducted a study titled “Global Consumer Technology Use and Security Study.” The survey found that almost half of parents have kids with social media accounts and feel their online privacy on these websites is important. 76 per cent of parents surveyed said they have friended their kids on social networking sites, and 51 per cent trust their kids to act responsibly online.
The majority of parents were also cited as being involved enough in their children’s lives to not feel the need for parental control software. This shows that less and less parents are afraid of technology, and more are embracing the everyday gadgets their kids use. Unfortunately, however, technophobia still exists. But there are solutions.
If you aren’t a lover of the digital world, get your kids to show you the ropes. This will give you and your kids an opportunity to spend some time together, while you learn about their online activities and where they like to surf.
“In order to help break down the fear, sign up for accounts like Facebook or Twitter yourself and see what they are all about. By understanding the environment that our kids are growing up in a little better, it can help make it a little less scary to approach them about it,” Moreau advises.
Lastly, try to stay aware of tech and online trends. Visiting websites such as KiwiCommons.com or InternetSafety.TrendMicro.com can help keep you in tune with the goings-on of the online world and how to teach your kids about safe online behaviour.
Being an engaged parent is the first step, and the most crucial, when teaching kids how to be digitally responsible. Getting involved, starting an on-going conversation and being aware of the existing issues can go a long way in keeping your kids safe online.
Kiwi Commons is a late-breaking news, guides and information weblog dedicated to providing readers with the most relevant and up-to-date resources available on youth Internet safety.
Kiwi provides readers with a broad range of thoughts and opinions from various experts, including our own Kiwi Expert Panel, to real life stories of the youth affected by these new challenges like sexting, scams, cyberbullying and predators.
For more information, go to: www.kiwicommons.com