Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commission writes about keeping kids safer online over summer.
As the year draws to a close, holidays will soon be upon us – and like many people, I’m looking forward to the fun and joy, while also feeling a tiny bit of trepidation. Along with the festivities, there may be long-haul travel and stresses associated family tension or gift-giving expectations. While I’m usually the last person to leave the holiday party or utter a “bah humbug”, it is important to keep in mind that this time of year can be particularly challenging for young people navigating the online world.
If you are like me, you can only bear to play “I Spy” for so many hours on the road trip to grandma’s before screens are permitted. And let’s be really honest: most of us parents are anticipating our children crying, “I’m bored!!!” only nanoseconds into the long summer break.
Technology is one way to keep them entertained, but we can forget that their use needs to be balanced to ensure healthy and happy experiences. It’s surprising how many toys or devices are Internet-enabled these days, from drones and smart teddies to tablets and wearables - even those used by young children can have unexpected safety risks. Our eSafety gift guide suggests some simple tips to manage this, including deactivating voice or recording features, using parental controls and activating privacy settings.
Sadly, there’s also another online risk to look out for, particularly over summer: cyberbullying.