What is Safer Internet Day and Why Parents Should Check It Out
Tuesday 11th February is Safer Internet Day, celebrated across both the UK and around the globe. Starting back in 2004, Safer Internet Day is now celebrated across 150 countries worldwide, all pulling together to raise global awareness of internet safety issues such as cyber bullying, sextortion, online fraud, social media risks and online predators.
Why is it important?
This week, UK regulator OFCOM released a report highlighting the ever increasing dangers for families online. The report shows that despite parents becoming increasingly concerned about their child seeing content which might encourage them to harm themselves (45%, up from 39% in 2018), they are now more likely than in 2018 to speak with their children about staying safe online (85%, up from 81%).
The current issue we face with families all over the world is that they are bombarded with information on what to do, what not to do, all to keep their family safe online. Advice is complicated. It mandates that we need to be doing 101 things to ensure our kids don’t fall foul of cyber bullying, online predators, sextortion, financial fraud, the list goes on!
This is a phenomenon called ‘security fatigue’ – we get overwhelmed with all the complex and numerous decisions we need to make that in essence we become paralysed. Paralysed by the complexity of it all, parents end up implementing no protection at all for themselves or their children.
What Protection Do Parents Need?
Luckily, the reality is actually much simpler than it would appear. Internet safety network for parents SimpleCyberLife.com puts forward a list of 7 tasks that parents need to do to keep their families safe online.
1) Establish a set of ground rules that the whole family can subscribe to can help everyone ‘buy-in’ to the responsible use of technology at home.
2) Review social media privacy settings for all sites on a regular basis, reviewing historic posts for sensitive information, only accepting friend requests from people you know in real life and remembering NOT to over-share.
3) It may be easier said than done, but try as a parent to maintain an open and honest relationship with your children and the use of technology in the home.
4) To ensure the security of WiFi router and help protect all of the family devices that connect to it, ensure you change the default password and set up automatic software updates.
5) Kids can end up squirrelling themselves away in their rooms, becoming more and more isolated as they endlessly scroll social media on their own. The solution? Buy a cheap Family Charging Station that can be placed on a hallway or corridor table. All family members can place their smartphones on charge before they go to their rooms, they are left outside and when they return to them in the morning they are all fully charged and ready to go!
6) To either ensure you review the security settings of your chosen browser or are using a secure browser like BRAVE.
7) Educating loved ones is vital because cyber criminals know that kids can be the weak link and can often be their way ‘in’ to get access to the more sensitive data stored by parents. Have regular discussions with your family and stay informed via an internet safety network.
Of course, each family will have slightly different security needs – which is why to make it even less daunting – SimpleCyberLife.com have a short one-minute quiz for potential members to complete, to help them decipher what their internet safety priorities should be.
It’s important that parents feel supported in their endeavour to keep their family safe online, and simplecyberlife.com are the world’s first membership network designed to provide accessible resources and expert advice, all in one place. There’s also a community forum where you can pitch questions direct to internet safety experts and fellow parents.