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Overly Connected, Highly Unprotected

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Introduction

The more connected we get in our everyday lives, the more difficult it is to keep our children safe online. I am a mother of two pre-teens and to say it’s a full-time job worrying about what they are exposed to online is an understatement. I am constantly fearful of them being exposed to something indecent or harmful in real life and on the internet. As a security professional, sometimes I have a tendency to think about locking everything down and not the ability to use the devices we protect. Fortunately, there are tools out there to help secure our home networks and the devices our kids are using to access the internet.

How Can We Keep Them Safe

There are so many products out there that tout keeping kids safe and giving parents the control to monitor content being consumed by their children. Unfortunately, most of these products are, by definition, spyware. In order to keep our kids safe and monitor that activity, we need to be able to track their every click. It is this reason that I have done fairly thorough research to find the “least spooky” option available for parents to use. I have tried a number of solutions, some overly complicated, some highly ineffective. The product you use is just a part of the whole picture. Educating your children on how to safely use the internet and what to be wary of will reduce their risk.

Rules for Internet Safety

  • Use child-friendly educational resources
  • Set up some basic internet rules
  • Focus on empowerment, not fear.
  • Create a trusting, respectful environment.
  • Use the right tools to help keep them safe

Educational Cybersecurity Resources for Kids

The Center for Internet Security lists the following resources for educational entertainment regarding cybersecurity and safety: