11. February 2012 10:11
As an expert and frequent speaker on the subject of online safety, I often hear comments from parents that dismiss the idea of using parental control software go something like this:
"Yes! The Internet can be a dangerous place, but not for my son.. he doesn't do things like look at adult websites or post videos of himself"
Unfortunately, “perfect” kids face risks online too and it’s not always the kids that are looking for mischief that end up being harmed in some way.
Parents need to change the way they think about the issues of online safety. It’s not just about your child or teen misbehaving or using poor judgment. Parents that say “not my kid” may very well be right… but that doesn’t change the fact that there are people targeting your child by misusing technology.
Cyber bullies, cyber predators, identity thieves, creators of adult websites, even creators of spyware - these are all people. So instead of thinking that technology poses a threat, think about it as “people that misuse technology” that pose a threat. Sometimes these people are companies. Most kids games are designed to keep our young people playing as long as possible instead of engaging in a larger variety of activities like getting out and getting some exercise.
Again, it’s not the technology that poses the threat - it’s the people that misuse it to target kids.
Not to worry though, once you recognize the dangers (and don’t make too much or too little of them) and take some basic steps to thwart their efforts chances are that your kids will enjoy many years of uneventful, safe computer use.
So if you’re the lucky parent of a perfect kid, congratulations! But just remember that perfect kids can get hurt too.