Cyber Safety with Norton Online Family Report

Cyber Safety with Norton Online Family Report

Illegal downloading, explicit content and meeting dubious strangers - these are just some of the threats our kids face in today’s day and age. What can you do as parents?

Gone are the days where the main danger from playtime was a scathed knee. Illegal downloading, explicit content and meeting dubious strangers - these are just some of the threats our kids face in today’s day and age.

As parents, you naturally think you are aware of the activities being conducted online by your kids.  Well, you should think twice. According to the Norton Online Family Report 2010, which was released this week, statistics have revealed that 73% of Singaporean kids have had negative online experiences. In the meanwhile, only 36% of parents say they always know what their child looks at online. 3 out of 10 children actually say their parents have no idea what they are doing.

The Web has become the new ‘playground’ for cybercriminals. Parents now have to monitor their kids 2 different lives - their ‘real’ lives as well as their ‘online’ lives. The study also showcased a 13% increase of kids reporting exposure to porn or violent content, showing increase accessibility to explicit content. To make the picture even more horrifying, up to 57% of children have had strangers try to add them on social networking sites and 1 in 4 have met an online stranger who has tried to meet them in the ‘real world’.

What can you do as parents?

It isn’t a hopeless case, so fret not! Norton Online Family Service is a tool you can use to keep internet surfing fun and safe for the family. The programme permits you to keep your kids safe without compromising on their privacy. It allows parents to block unwanted content, set clear rules and also provides an account of the social networking sites that your children visit. The best part about it is that parents can access it from any computer to check your kid’s activity.

Besides using these tools as add-ons, parents need to do their part by showing an interest in your child’s online activities and their lives too. Try to create a comfortable and honest relationship with your child such that they can come to you when something goes wrong. Do not punish them when things go wrong as this will deter them from coming to you the next time they have a problem. As with everything else, the best solution is a combination of factors. In this case, combination of technology (Norton Online Family Service) and talking openly about issues with your child (Parenting 101) should ensure your kids have a positive online experience.

The award-winning Norton Online Family Service, available free of charge in 25 languages, gives parents insight into their kids’ lives online.

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Written by

Felicia Chin

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