This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Kaspersky Lab.
Our children engage in the digital world from their earliest days. When our daughter was born, I would upload weekly videos to YouTube so our family on the other side of the world could keep track of her development.
This has grown from there, now including sharing her story with people we don’t know, via this blog and associated accounts. Being online is as much a part of her life as play, books, and television.
She – like many of her peers – is beginning to explore this world herself. While she doesn’t have her own phone or tablet, she does have a KANO computer. This is used under supervision, but the issue of her online safety is becoming something we need to make part of her day-to-day life as much as, for instance, road safety.
Global cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab recently surveyed 10-15-year-olds and found that a third had witnessed online violence, and a quarter had viewed pornography. Two thirds also said they knew how to hide what they were looking at from their parents.
They also interviewed some children about what they had seen or encountered online, and how much their parents know about what they’re up to.
Our children are living a digital life in a way that no previous generation has been able to. Online trolling, bullying, and even grooming are a modern phenomenon for us as parents to deal with. Kaspersky Labs have recognised this, and parent’s growing concern (as well as lack of knowledge).
They have a product called Kaspersky Safe Kids which can help protect children online, whether on a desktop, laptop, or smartphone. Beyond this, you are also able to monitor their online conversations and keep track of their location.
Parts of this may be a step to far for some, as there are clearly issues around privacy. Should we be monitoring our children’s whereabouts and communication so closely? Should we tell them we’re doing it? If they know, will they find other ways around it, or if we don’t is it breach of trust?
But the fact remains there are people trying to advantage of children online. As parents, the choice of how to approach this is yours. The online environment is not one we grew up with – especially in terms of handheld devices and social media.
Like road safety, we need to strike a balance between educating our kids as well as ensuring they remain safe.
Kaspersky Safe Kids is a downloadable app which helps you protect your children in a digital world, on their iPhones, iPads, Macs and Computers. For just £10.99 for a year’s subscription you can stay connected with your kids and be sure they are in a safe place. For more information about Kaspersky Safe Kids, please visit iTunes.