Are you a father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt have friends, neighbors or know someone with kids? Chances are you are or do, so when I say online safety is something that should concern all of us, whether you have kids or not, it shouldn’t be a surprise. One of the challenges is with the technical savvy of today’s youth vs. that of their parents. Today’s youth have grown up with technology, IM, Facebook, MySpace are part of their culture and a lot of parents just don’t understand these technologies, the threats they can posses and more importantly how to protect their kids.
So how do we address this? While there are some great technologies, and I’ll get to those in a minute, as with anything education is key. Educating the parents on the threats and how to protect their kids is part of it as is educating kids in the realities.
There is a great Online Safety portal available with some great resources for both parents and their kids that I urge you to look at and try out the Family Safety tool from Live. There are some startling facts about the online behavior of Canadian youth…
– 88% of Canadian youth are online
– 50% of them have seen inappropriate content online
– 33% of them have been asked to share private information with someone they don’t know online
– 25% them have been asked by someone they only know online, to meet face to face.
– 15% of them said they would.
These are some numbers from a recent Ipsos Reid poll of both Canadian youth and their parents and the gap between what kids are doing, and what parents think they are doing is dramatic. While 33% of youth have been asked to share private information, when parents were asked only 25% had thought that was the case.
Get the facts, share them with the people you know and use your skills as the “IT person” for your friends and family to help keep them safe!