The first post of this year will be about a very sensitive subject, something that if you don’t do anything as a parent it will be a failure (if something happens), but if you do too much it might look like you are going beyond the limits of privacy. I’m talking about the challenge to keep your kid safe while using technology. It is not only about Internet, it is about any device that provides connectivity with a virtual world. The old saying that only Internet can be dangerous for the kids is just no right anymore, any device that expose your kid to a broader audience might be vulnerable to predators. Recently I read an article called “Why I'm Cyberstalking My Son” and although the title might sound “tough” it is not; the article goes directly to the point and I really enjoyed reading it. This week I also read this post on Facebook about a some rules that a mother wrote for her son in order to use the phone, that was great, worth reading it here. It boils down to one thing: parents are getting conscious about cyber security, which is GREAT!
There are many resources out there that can help parents to keep their kids safer while using technology and I’m going to list some of those resources here:
- FBI Kids Safety: http://www.fbi.gov/fun-games/kids/kids-safety
- Internet Safety for Kids: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/net_safety.html
- Teach kids online security basics: http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-internet.aspx
- Age-based guidelines for kids' Internet use: http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-age.aspx
- Safe and Secure Online: https://www.isc2cares.org/safe-and-secure/
Now that you have all those links, let me give you a brief example of something that I’ve done to better control what my kids are doing on the Internet.
Surface Rocks Daddy!
Oh yeah, that’s what I heard from my kids when I got home with my Surface. Although Surface is very personal and ideally you will have one device per person in a house, this might not be the case for a big family. When that’s the case (which is mine), you should create multiple users (to have different profiles) by using the steps below:
- From the Start screen, open the Search charm, enter Control Panel and then press Enter.
- Tap or click User Accounts and Family Safety.
- Tap or click Change account type.
- Tap or click Guest and then tap or click Turn On.
(More info about accounts on Surface here)
When you use the Family Safety (watch this video for more details) option, you have access to the monitoring report that tells you in detail the activity for that account that you created. This report is very useful and here an example of some info that I can find on this report:
This first part of the report shows the most popular site that were visited during the week, which gives you an idea of what your kid is doing online from the browsing perspective. The second part of the report is shown below:
This second part is even more interesting. It allows you to see the time your kid is spending on the PC every day of the week and which applications are the ones he (or she) is using the most. According to this report I’m positive that my kid is watching
way too much movies 🙂
As you could see by this brief post there are many technologies and resources available to assist you (parent) to protect you kid online. Make sure to use it, share your experiences with other parents and evangelize the use of the technology for safety purpose.
A safer 2013 for all of us!