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How parents can protect their kids and keep their family safe online


Children are the weakest link in a family’s online security and they are also causing the most concern in the online world with the rise in cyberbullying and predators, according to the latest Norton Cyber Security Insights Report.

The report showed 52 per cent of parents surveyed thought their children were more likely to be bullied online rather than in a playground while 48 per cent were concerned their kids were giving out too much personal information online.

Another fear from parents (46 per cent) is the risk of their child being groomed by an online predator and lured into a meeting.

“In the last year, Norton has seen the online safety awareness levels of Australian parents increase rapidly as technology firmly cements itself in the family home,” said Mark Gorrie, Director, Norton by Symantec, Pacific region.

Young parents, with children, on laptop computer

“Protecting children online is weighing heavier on parents than ever before as cyberbullying, online predators and privacy are now “real” world concerns.

“While parents are taking some measures to keep their children safe online, more action is needed to ensure children are less vulnerable in the digital world.”

Parents are not only worrying about their child’s welfare online, they are also concerned their son or daughter’s actions could put the whole family at risk.

More than two in three parents are taking certain precautions to protect their children online including:

* Almost half (49 percent) limit the amount of information they post about their children on social networks

* 45 percent of parents require computer use to take place in common areas in the home

* 42 percent limit the amount of personal information children can post on their social network

* 41 percent limit access to certain websites

But, according to Norton, even when taking this level of care, one in five Australians have had a child’s actions compromise their online security.

Norton’s Top Tips for Parents

* Have an open dialogue – It’s important to start the conversation with your children early and have an open dialogue. Set aside time to discuss appropriate online behaviour and create age-appropriate “House Rules” about how computers, smart phones and gaming systems are used. It is also important to be a positive role model for children and lead by example.

*Educate children – Spend some time educating children regularly about the dangers of the Internet and create awareness around issues such as sexting, cyberbullying, online predators and privacy. Check to make sure your children are not sharing private information like passwords, addresses and phone numbers with people they don’t know.

*Explore technology – Consider free parental control technologies, such as Norton Family, that help to set and enforce the ground rules and can limit the sites that can be accessed and the type of information that can be shared online.

Norton Family Premier can help your kids learn how to explore, learn and enjoy their connected world safely. You can subscribe here.