Just when you thought you could put off cyber safety issues until your children are teens, parents are finding out the hard way that teens aren’t the only ones with internet computer cyber safety problems.
Tots on Smart Phones
The use of internet connected devices like iPads and other tablets, computers, and smart phones are being used by children as young as 2 years old, and its increasing massively year by year, but parents are still thinking that cyber safety only applies to teens on computers.
Parents! You had better catch up quick! Technology is moving faster than you can adjust your mindset, and if you continue to keep thinking you don’t need to worry about cyber safety for your younger children until they are teens you and your children are sadly in for a nasty shock.
Phones and iPads Are Computers!
Smart phones and tablets like iPads and others are computers, and most are connected to the internet. Each of them has internet browsers like Safari and Internet explorer with access to search engines, and each have the ability to download images and adult games you would rather your child not be exposed to. Any parent that leaves one of these devices around the home unlocked or even hands this device to their child without securing it with proper filters and controls is leaving their child open to content that is beyond the child’s ability to cope with. Take your eyes away for one mb download and your child might see something that can’t be unseen.
When I mention to adults that I give Cyber Safety talks, they most often think “Oh For Teens” And yes for so long that HAS been the focus of Cyber Safety. But all of that is changing so fast and it’s taking time for parents to catch up. They are forgetting that ANY device connected to the internet makes your child vulnerable. You can’t afford to take time.
Primary Schools Are Including Computers In Their Curriculum!
Most schools are already including computer use in their primary school curriculum, kids already know how to use Google BEFORE they get to high school, not to mention underaged use of Facebook. As a Cyber Safety Advocate I hear the same terrible story over and over again, how a parent didn’t know how to filter Google search or protect their computer, Wi Fi or iPhone and their child under 10 yrs old saw pornography or sick violence simply by looking something up on Google that was totally innocent. This absolutely horrifies me, when its so simple to protect them. Most parents I talk to, just didn’t give it any forethought. I find it hard to believe that most parents don’t realise what potential dangers they are exposing their kids too when they don’t know how to filter the internet. One parent hadn’t even had the “Talk” about the birds and the bees before her child saw a woman with a dog committing beastality on their home computer…this is horrible…just so horrible, and so easily preventable by just using Googles own safety setting.
Your Child May Not Have An iPhone But What About Their Friends?
I’m also shocked how many parents don’t realise how many kids under 10yrs old now have iPods, iPhones, and smart phones that connect to the internet, and they haven’t thought how THEIR child might be exposed to something nasty by one of these kids with such a device. Many parents don’t even have a pin on their phone and leave them lying around the house, only to be picked up and used by their child without their supervision.
Every one of these devices has a parental controls feature and filters that you can set up to protect your child. It can be as simple as putting a pin coded phone lock on your phone or iPad so your child can’t play with it without you being there to watch over them. As a parent, it is solely your responsibility to find these protections, you don’t want your child finding out about porn and horrible sick violence through the internet before you are ready to explain it to them. And most children are exposed to adult content at home…NOT at school.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure, What Is Seen Cannot Be Unseen
You would no more leave your child in a news agency and let them wander the isles of the girly magazines than you should expose them to the internet.
This” Teen Only” Cyber Safety awareness mindset needs to change now! And soon. My talks to parents are more important in primary schools now because of these changes that have happened over the last few years. You cannot wait for high school to learn about Cyber Safety! I have two talks in primary schools aimed at parents coming up in the next few weeks, thank goodness these schools are aware how important it is. I hope to have more.
Please don’t leave your primary school kids unprotected with your internet devices, find the pin locks, the filters and protections and attend your next Cyber Safety Talk at your school.
If you ARE going to allow the internet in your home, protect your children from it. Let them have fun on their iPods and computers but protect them from adult content.
See this survey entitled
FORGET SWIMMING AND RIDING A BIKE – YOUNG CHILDREN TODAY MORE LIKELY TO HAVE MASTERED COMPUTER GAMES
AVG STUDY SHOWS YOUNG KIDS LEARN TECH SKILLS BEFORE LIFE SKILLS
by AVG the security software manufacturer for more details.
See how to set up parental controls on iDevices Here:
My manual has most of these simple safety settings and filters Step By Step.
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