I know the title is a bit random, however I was invited along to visit London Zoo by Norton, the people behind the anti virus systems most of us have heard of. If you haven’t, try and take the time to read more HERE
Parental controls management lets you easily access, set up and run Norton Online Family right from within your Norton Control Center.
I took my kids along and we were treated to a guided tour around the zoo, followed by a very yucky but interesting talk about insects, not your average insects mind you – big ones, fat ones and slimy ones with the opportunity to TOUCH them!!! Well I didn’t but I did manage to stand really close to them. My kids weren’t much braver but I can’t say I blamed them.
The purpose of this event was to get a forum going amongst parents about online safety. As a mother of 4 children who are very computer/i-pad/phone/blackberry savvy, what they have and don’t have access to is very important to me. I hear horror stories of children seeing really inappropriate things and the scary thing is that most of the time, parents are none the wiser. Children seem to be in a bubble of complete privacy, especially as they get older and with the click of a cross on the screen, what they were looking at can be gone as they see mum or dad approaching.
At the talk, which was also attended by journalists and their children, we were told the importance of online protection as children are becoming more savvy than adults and at increasingly young ages. My older two are 12 and 11 and are prime examples of girls who’s thumbs work quicker than the speed of sound when using their blackberrys. They know so much, technology wise but fortunately my husband is an IT guru and he’s ahead of them and has many blocks and announcements to his own emails if anything inappropriate is sent to or from them and even searched for. I know this may seem extreme, however they are still young, no matter how mature they think they are and until they’re old enough, we have to be in control of what goes on as much as possible.
What brought this home to me more was when the Norton representatives explained that we wouldn’t let our children meet people or go out without us knowing exact details and we should treat online interactions in the same way.
My girls were probably the oldest children there and were asked by Norton what technology they have access to and they were more than happy to offer their knowledge to the onlooking adults. They are also taught alot in school about online dangers. Lots of wows (in a shocked way) were heard in the room as they freely offered snippets of information. Some of the adults there had no idea of what goes on in the world of online and some parents were quite vocal on what they would never let their children do or access on the internet. In my mind I was thinking – wait until they reach 10!
In an age where there are many community websites geared towards kids, we have to arm our children with the knowledge and awareness to protect themselves online, because unfortunately, although Norton can help with inappropriate material reaching our computer systems, they can’t help with who can access these sites.
So although for the most part it’s ok and fine and nothing untoward is going on, we do need to be aware to protect our children.