There has been a lot about cyber bullying and children accessing suicide websites and other inappropriate internet content recently in the news.
Two weeks ago I was asked to take part in a discussion about the internet security and how we, as parents, deal with it with our children. It was led by a leading Internet security Experts from AVG, Tony Anscombe and involved a number of Blogging parents. It has been made into a number of short videos available on face book and AVG’s social media streams. The first was about how parents tackle the issue of the internet and internet content.
There are no right answers and the discussion focuses on being age appropriate. To me the key issue is education, with some monitoring rather than banning content. Of course other options are available but to me this is the best for MY children.
Both my boys have to use the internet to research school projects. Children are taught about internet and using it as a source of information at school. They are given sites to use and how to filter information at a basic level. This is a good thing and, as a parent, I support this discussion how do you know if it’s right or not. I encourage them to mention or discuss anything they come across they are not happy with. Recently this involved discussing the first wold war and several photos of bodies on barbed wire.
When it come to a matter of growing up, young adults used to turn to magazine advice pages but now the first thing they do is go to the internet, in fact a recent tv advert for a tablet mentions learning about public speaking to a google search on How to ask a girl out.
We need to restrict what younger children access but with so many ways to get on internet from TV’s, phones, tablets and laptops it is hard to restrict them all (especially if they might use a device that you can’t control, a grand parents or friends phone to play a game). So I try to educate and occasionally monitor without feeling like big brother. My ex-wife restricts access time only allowing 30 mins of electronics a day which includes TV, something I see as avoiding an issue, not addressing it directly. This leads to the next video about the conversation you have about what is appropriate content as your child gets older. I shall talk about that another time.
(BTW …..It was Movember and the moustache has now gone!)
And for those of you who want to know more or get involved in the discussion Tony and AVG have produce a book that is free and downloadable about Internet security and your teens, butit applies to all children which is available at
You can download Tony’s book for free here.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of Dad.info.