AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd apologises to Australia’s parents for bringing to their attention that the long summer school holidays are within sight. But the holidays mean your children will soon be spending vast amounts of time tracking their friends on Facebook and trawling the Internet for entertainment. So it’s timely to remind parents to update their online safety awareness.The cyber world that children inhabit continues to shift and evolve. The sites children are using today won’t be the ones they’re addicted to next week. AVG (AU/NZ) offers advice to help parents keep their children safe while enjoying their online holiday time.
Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ), said: “Learn, protect, report – these headings don’t make for an interesting acronym but will encourage parents to be vigilant of their family’s online activities.
Take an interest in the online safety instruction your child is receiving at school and reinforce those messages. You can’t always be watching over them so education as to the risks and self-awareness ideas for protection are vital.
Cybersmart is part of the Australian Government’s cybersafety program and provides activities, resources and practical advice to help kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world. It includes a page for parents with the latest ‘Tagged’ updates on subjects such as how to encourage young people to reflect on the real life consequences caused by cyber bullying, sexting.
ThinkUKnow is an Internet safety program delivering interactive training to parents, carers and teachers. Created by the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, ThinkUKnow Australia has been developed by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Microsoft Australia. Users will need to subscribe to the site to gain access to its tools and resources.
Stay Smart Online is a one stop shop providing information for Australian Internet users on the simple steps they can take to protect their personal and financial information online. The site has informative videos, quizzes and a free Alert Service that provides information on the latest threats and vulnerabilities.
The Internet is a place where kids will eventually learn how to responsibly connect with others, but it’s also a place to explore and learn. The problem with today’s most popular search engines is they can surprise the user with shocking images and other content that are unexpectedly associated with the search string.
Popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo provide easily configurable options that allow the blocking of most explicit images and results from appearing, or alternatively there are services like Kids.Net.Au providing kids with their own safe search experience.
Ensuring the home computer is protected with an Internet Security solution that includes link scanning technology, such as the AVG LinkScanner is another important tool to consider. When trouble is just a click away, AVG helps parents protect their kids by ensuring their Internet experiences are positive ones.
Before you turn on the TV or take your kids to the movies, the US site Common Sense Media helps parents determine what movies, games, websites, music and more might be the most appropriate for their impressionable young ones before they’re already exposed. The site also posts helpful suggestions for parents struggling with how much TV is too much TV and similar family issues.
Always report any cyber bullying to your child’s school or the police. Never ignore it.
If you have found any material online that you believe is prohibited or inappropriate you can contact the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This site also has a range of online safety resources for parents and caregivers.
The Government’s SCAMwatch site provides a reporting facility to assist with the policing of cyber crime and alerting others to fraudulent Internet activity.
You and your children need to be alert to the potential dangers when enjoying the Internet and know what to do should anything untoward happen. That way your family can continue to benefit from the world of information and opportunity as safely as is possible.