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Monitor your kids’ internet use with Online Guardian

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Three out of four 14 year-olds access the internet alone in their bedrooms leaving parents unaware who their children are interacting with online.

This issue was addressed at a kids seminar at St Ambrose Primary with internet security company Trend Micro and Wests Tigers rugby league players.

Trend Micro unveiled a new product called Online Guardian – a tool designed to make parents aware of their children’s online activities.  

The theme of the seminar at St Ambrose Primary School in Concord West in Sydney was to provide tips for students and their parents to make smart online choices and appropriate online behaviour.

Tina Su, Trend Micro’s Australia Pacific product marketing manager, said using the internet was an important life skill for kids.

Trend Micro's Online Guardian allows parents to monitor their kids online and even set time limits

“It is important that we educate kids to use it (the internet) wisely and safely,” she said.

“Our vision with Trend Micro Online Guardian is to provide the tools for parents to become aware of their kids’ online activities, to generate healthy family dialogue and to prevent problems before they happen.”

The study by Edith Cowan University involved 500 students aged between 13 and 16 from a number of Government school in Western Australia and showed some interesting online behaviour and trends.

Nine in ten students were using social networks to stay in touch with family and friends and the majority of these students admit to being contacted by a stranger on these networks.

75 per cent of students surveyed also said they connect to the internet away from their parents in their bedrooms.

Dr Julian Dooley from Edith Cowan University said there was an alarming disconnect between kids and parents when it comes to sharing online experiences and problems.

“Given that these kids don’t always inform their parents who they interact with online, there’s a clear need for technical products that can assist with ensuring safe and positive online experiences,” Dr Dooley said.

Wests Tigers star Lote Tuqiri at St Ambrose Primary School in Concord West talks to kids about cyber safety

Lote Tuqiri, one of the Wests Tigers stars, was on hand at St Ambrose Primary School to share his online experiences as a father of two young children.

“I see it as my responsibility to educate my kids from an early age on cyber safety and having an open dialogue with my kids about staying safe online,” he said.

Tuqiri says his main social networking activity was on Twitter where he has more than 32,000 followers.

But the Wests Tigers winger says he has run into problems with a person impersonating him on Facebook and even sought legal advice on how it could be stopped. The investigation continues.

Trend Micro’s Online Guardian can be installed on the parent’s computer as well as on their children’s computers.

Online Guardian will allow users to:

* Monitor their children’s internet activities including their use of sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.

* Check browsing history, social network posts, messages, chat logs and photos and videos which have been shared.

* Block access to adult and other inappropriate content.

* Set internet time limits and daily access schedule.

* Block the sharing of personal information like phone numbers, addresses and other information which online predators, identity thieves and cyber criminals look for.

* Install on as many computers as needed and monitor up to five children.

During Trend Micro and the Wests Tigers’ visit to St Ambrose Primary school they outlined to the gathered Year 5 and 6 students a number of cyber safety tips

Trend Micro's Online Guardian These tips are aimed not only at students but also parents, caregivers and teachers as well.

Think before posting: Be careful about what you share especially personal information on the internet.

Treat people the way you like to be treated: Be nice online. If you are disrespectful online it will not only offend and upset others it can also make you a target for cyber bullies.

Don’t retaliate: If someone says something bad about you the best action, as hard as it is to do, is to ignore and block them. Cyber bullies and online haters will only be encouraged if you retaliate.

Keep the evidence: If the offensive behaviour continues work with parents and teachers to save offending messages, pictures and copies of online conversations which may be supplied as evidence to police.

Stand up for victims: If you see your friends is being attacked online not doing anything about it is as bad as participating. Report it to your parents, teachers and mother adults you trust so they can do something about it.

Trend Micro’s Online Guardian is available now from Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, JB Hi-Fi and other authorised resellers. It is priced at $49.95 for a 12 month licence.

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