Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Safeguarding Our Tech Savvy Kids

Today's generation of youngsters take technical gadgets for granted. They are brought up alongside mobile phones, tablets, computers and the internet, both in the home and school environment. 

With children being exposed to technology from a younger age than ever before, it is likely they will have mastered the features and functions of many gadgets quicker than a lot of adults can. Even toys given to babies or toddlers introduce them to technology early in life, such as basic touch buttons and big screens that let them explore numbers, words and sounds. Long before many children go to school they will have played games on their parents' phone or tablet, or may even have one of their own.

Research has shown that nearly one in 10 children get their first mobile phone at the age of five, and over half of youngsters own one by the age of 10. A third of children under the age of 15 also have their own tablet.

With children having easy access to the internet via a range of devices it stands to reason that any responsible parent will want to ensure that their child is only viewing information that is appropriate and safe. Although it might not be feasible to keep a constant watch on what children are exposed to online, there are lots of ways that you can help to safeguard them from the risks.

Installing antivirus software to all of your devices should be your first strategy to keep kids safe online. A good antivirus package will keep spam, viruses, dubious content and other potential threats at bay. Make sure to keep your software up to date, however, as the threats can change over time as spammers and viruses alter their tactics.

Many devices now come with handy Parental Control features, so that you can set functions to decide exactly what your child can have access to. This can give you peace of mind that they are not being exposed to content which may be harmful.

Always instil the importance of being safe online to your children. Teach them not to disclose too much personal information online, particularly on social media, and if they come into contact with someone or something that upsets them, they should tell an adult.

Children can get hooked on technical gadgets, which may distract them from doing other things like homework or going outdoors and getting exercise. Consider setting time functions on devices so that they can only use them for a specific amount of time, giving you control over the frequency that they use them.

How much of a role does technology play a part in your life? At home or at work? Aalliyah is a super tech savvy kid and an avid YouTuber so does spend a fair amount of time online but everything she does is monitored and I will quite happily make her take a break if I feel her time spent online has became excessive.

I'd love to hear your thoughts..

*Post published in collaboration with Panda Security


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