Know What Your Kids Are Doing Online

children online photo
Image by AVG Technologies

From a British study on the dangers of kids being approached by dangerous people online, I noticed this little nugget:

“The report, called Digital Dangers, found that nearly half of young people living at home say their parents only know some of their online activities. And one in ten said their parents knew nothing about what they did on the internet.
Report author Tink Palmer, chief executive of the Marie Collins Foundation, a charity which tackles online child abuse, said: ‘Children are being targeted by perpetrators through their smart phones and other mobile devices.
‘Technology has made them easier targets for abusers, who take advantage of their relative naivety.”

Keeping your kids safe online is all about doing the exact opposite of what these kids are reporting. It’s not enough to hand them an iPad and tell them not to talk to strangers. Kids are always going to do things they are told not to, it’s part of being a kid. If you want to keep them safe, you have to both make sure they aren’t naive, and that you do know what they are doing while online.

Unfortunately, there are still many people who advocate blocking, or filtering and assuming that kids are safe. It’s not true. Filters can never keep ahead of the proliferation of materials that you don’t want your kids to see, and frankly, kids are smarter than the filters anyway.


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