Talk To Kids About Online Safety
Parents can empower themselves and their children with information that allows digital exploration within boundaries.
(NAPSI)—If you’re a parent, you can add one more potentially awkward—but absolutely critical—“talk” to your to-do list. While you may have discussed the risks associated with sex, smoking, alcohol and drugs with your child, if you haven’t yet talked about the dangers of risky online behavior, then this is an increasingly imperative conversation to have. The Internet is now integral to all of our daily lives and your job is to help your child form healthy online connections without engaging—knowingly or unknowingly—in risky and compromising behavior.
Many parents are aware that digital communications can bring unwanted consequences. In fact, 83 percent of parents in a recent survey reported strong concerns about what their children are exposed to online. The need to have this conversation doesn’t make having it any more comfortable. Having “the talk” about online safety must focus on personal boundaries and privacy and should educate children about specific and serious threats to personal safety.
To help parents prepare for and hold a successful online protection talk with their child, global cloud security leader TrendMicro has published an eGuide full of tips for navigating this sensitive topic, including:
• Use the parental control features of your security software to block children’s access to harmful or inappropriate websites. Some security software, such as Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security 2012, lets parents set this only when their kids are using the computer.
• How to avoid unwanted contact, including from bullies and sexual predators, by using the social networking privacy settings and computer security software like Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security 2012.
• Use reputable computer security technology, and keep it up to date. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) encourages all computer users to “Keep a clean machine.” For more information about the NCSA’s “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign, visit www.staysafeonline.org.
Because not every parent is a technology expert nor is every child capable of grasping certain intangible concepts, the guide offers novice-friendly language and illustrations, in addition to practical tips, to help bridge gaps in technical understanding.
“We want to prepare—not scare—parents and children, because there are so many amazing benefits to learning and exploring on the Internet,” said computer security expert Natalie Severino. “With this eGuide, we hope that families will gain a better understanding of what online risks look, act and feel like so that they can confidently reap the benefits of communicating and connecting online.”
For practical, powerful and persuasive advice about how to have online protection discussions with your child, download the guide at www.trendmicro.com/thetalk.