June is National Internet Security Month as designated by the U.S. Congress and supported by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). It’s the perfect time to increase your awareness of online safety and learn ways to protect your identity and data throughout the year – and Norton agrees. Executives from the company convened a breakfast at Leopold’s of London, JBR in Dubai to brief tech savvy moms on the challenges associated with keeping our families – most importantly our children – safe online. Let’s face it. The Internet has become a social phenomenon that can not be ignored. Children are being exposed to the Internet earlier in life and therefore provisions for Internet safety need to be included in our parental strategies. As a technology professional I’m all over this subject and taking the necessary steps for safety – not just for my children – but yours as well. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to share with you these 5 tips, curated from experts at Norton, to keep our children safer online.
1. Use Parental Controls
Parental Controls are a set of features included in software and websites that are used to limit access to content. Popular sites like YouTube offer this type of security setting. Defining parental controls does not prevent access to all undesirable content but it’s a great way to start filtering. Access the browser history on your child’s device today and visit the sites that they do. Check for site settings to if they have them, set parental controls.
2. Set Boundaries
The World Wide Web is just that – a huge interconnected web that spans the world. It’s important to remember that your children have access to people and content that you don’t know and can’t control. Consequently, it’s best to implement as much control as you can over how your child uses the Internet by setting clear boundaries. For example, set time limits. Don’t allow your child to spend unlimited time surfing the net. Make they’re Internet sessions specific with regard to both time and purpose. Establish rules about privacy and teach your child what they should NOT share online. Impress upon them that cyber strangers can be just as dangerous as people they encounter in person that they don’t know. Determine appropriate sharing mechanisms and inform your child in the ones they shouldn’t use. For example, will you allow or discourage your child from using location settings? Think about it and clearly establish boundaries for online behavior, and feel free to run a reverse phone lookup on the people you don’t trust to be in touch with your kids, it is very important to take everything into count.
3. Share Administration of Online Accounts
So, your tween wants an a Instagram account…what do you do? If you feel that your youngster is mature enough to handle the responsibility of managing an online presence, go for it. But, don’t let them do it alone. Your child’s passwords should be kept secret but not from you! Maintain access to your child’s social accounts and manage it with them.
4. Keep Electronics Visible
I remember a time or two where my mom removed the telephone from the wall and hid it. With four daughters, the telephone was used punitively and it worked. The problem with this strategy was that by hiding the phone from us, my mom hid it from herself. Consequently, she was the last to know if one of her precious angels had pulled a sneaky little take-back. Keep electronics visible. We have a charging station in our home that’s visible and accessible to everyone. That’s where devices at the end of the day and whenever they’re not being used. It’s also a quick way for my husband and I to keep track of when they’re in use.
5. Have the Talk
After you’ve taken the time to complete the steps above, remember to implement them. Talk to your children about Internet safety and the dangers that lurk beyond the keyboard. As your children grow and mature, revisit your plan for safety and have the talk again. Keep the conversation casual and remain open to discussing Internet safety with your children.
Meet The Experts
Cagla Ruacan is an established marketing professional with over fifteen years’ experience. Since 2013, Cagla has held the position of Senior Regional Product Marketing Manager, operating across Symantec’s key markets in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Based in Istanbul, Cagla overseas regional product development, configuration and launch roadmaps for the Norton brand portfolio, Inc. those for consumer, mobile and small business audiences. Prior to joining Symantec, Cagla worked in various marketing roles for global information technology, security and blue chip companies, including AT&T Wireless & Sun Microsystems. Cagla was born and raised in Turkey and holds an MBA from U.C. Berkeley. She is married with two children and last year ran the renowned Istanbul Marathon, raising money for Tohum Autism Foundation.
Tamim Taufiq has been in the security and IT industry for over twenty years, joining Symantec in 2008 as Head of Consumer Sales – MENA. Tamim now holds overall responsibility for all aspects of Norton’s Middle East Region consumer business portfolio and resources including; Sales & Marketing/PR Operations, ‘CxO’ level relationships in Government, Enterprise & Telco sectors, Regional Business Strategy, Channels/Partners/Alliances. Tamim has worked in the Middle East for twenty-three years and moved to the UAE in 2008. Prior to joining Symantec, Tamim started his career working in various roles in the IT distribution field in Saudi Arabia, including Microsoft Arabia. Tamim is from Bangalore, India and holds an Honors degree in Systems Management from NIIT in Bangalore. Tamim is married with one child and his family are resident in Dubai.