The line between the online world and the real world has never been thinner.
Consider a story we recently heard from a mom who uses F-Secure:
Today my 7-year old child got lost on her way from school to daycare. When the daycare informed me that she never arrived, I called her. As we spoke, it became clear that she had taken wrong turn and was lost. Luckily, I had installed F-Secure SAFE on her Android. I was able to locate her on my laptop and then tell the daycare how to reach her. The daycare worker was able to call on the way to pick up her up. I want to thank you for this service and the worry it saved me.
The protection you put on your child’s phone not only keeps your kids away from online threats in the virtual world; it can keep them out of danger on the streets.
Like many of the things our phones can do now, this sort of tool just didn’t exist when most of us were growing up. And while you may be more aware of the threats your kids may face online and the real world, your kids probably have a much better idea of how to use their favorite sites apps and sites.
This is why we designed our new Family Rules with App Control to be set up with your kids.
This process helps you talk to your child about the web, what they should and shouldn’t use. And it also gives you an opportunity to set guidelines for how online life connects to the real world. For example, you can discuss what you should do when they feel lost and what to do if a stranger attempts to meet up with them in the real world.
Here are a few other topics you can talk about with your child:
- Examples of online threats that they may face, and in the case that they encounter any of these threats, how they should handle them
- Their rights and responsibilities online
- What types of online content you want your child to avoid and why.
Good digital parenting isn’t just about establishing boundaries and understanding that websites like YouTube are not good babysitters. Parents have to help themselves see what their kids find online.
If your children use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat WhatsApp or any other communications tool, you should use it, too. You don’t need to be an expert but you should familiarize yourself with how these apps work and why your kids like them. Plus, by letting your children know you’re on the site, you can let them know that you may see anything they do online.
This first-hand knowledge can give you the understanding to continue the conversation about online safety that will only end when childhood does.