Germania Today | Winter 2019

echnology can be an exciting – and tricky – gift for young people at Christmas. Every parent wants to keep their children safe from inappropriate content and dangerous people. Game consoles, phones, and tablets are equipped with protective apps and restrictive browsing capabilities, but a seasoned hacker can find their way around these barriers. Find out more about how to protect your children before and after these gifts arrive under the tree. Online Safety The most fool-proof way to keep your kids safe is to monitor what they’re watching and for how long. Your interest will go a long way to limit the possibility of them wandering into the wrong hands. Around one in five children is exploited online, likely because only about half of parents are even looking at what their kids are watching, according to privacy advocate organization, Pixel Privacy. It’s easy to give kids a phone just for a little peace and quiet, but a phone isn’t like television. There are too many ways for a kid to click into something they shouldn’t or to interact with someone who is out for their own gain. Talking to Your Kids Along with watching your kids, talking to your kids can go a long way too. They probably already know not to talk to strangers in the physical world, but it’s much easier to drift into a conversation with someone online. This can be tricky because chat rooms can be a great way for kids to meet peers around the world and expose them to new

cultures. The reality is that criminals know how to pose as practically anyone. Let them know the dangers of giving out personal information, and never allow kids to upload or download photos or videos without your permission. Setting Up Devices Let’s be clear: we are not suggesting that parents can monitor their children at all times. That would be as counterproductive as it would be destructive for your child’s personal sense of freedom. Paying attention to their activities and talking to them will stem the danger, but it can’t eliminate it entirely. Here are a few possibilities if you’re looking for additional assistance: • Free ISP options: Internet Service Providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, often provide free parental controls for parents across devices. You can also pay for additional options according to your internet plan. • Kaspersky: Made for Android or iOS mobile devices, this device tracks children’s activity online and blocks dangerous websites — no matter where they are. • Circle: This small device that works across devices on your network, and it’s available for both iPhone and Android devices. Whether traditional internet or wireless, it scrubs your home network, so it’s as safe as possible. Regardless of the methods you choose to use, your interest in their safety is a strong start. You can’t rely on social media networks or other entities to keep them safe. Hopefully, as your child sees your involvement, they’ll also feel more comfortable discussing their activity with you.

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