Protecting your child in a dangerous online world

Protecting your child in a dangerous online world

The online world is a treacherous obstacle course filled with deep and harmful craters.  Even more so for children who often can’t distinguish friend from foe.

According to Bitdefender’s Teen and Online Threats Report, December 2017, seven out of 10 teenagers have strangers on their online friends’ lists and worse, seven out 10 interact with them online. Shockingly almost 20 percent of these children have 50 strangers on their lists.

What as a parent can you do to protect your children; the age-old warning “don’t talk to strangers” is seemingly pointless when it comes to online interaction.

There is a false sense of protection when people interact with others online and more so for children. And whilst the online world might feel light years away, it takes only one suggestive comment to make the threat of a predator very real.

Take steps now

Fortunately, there are some practical steps parents can take to protect their children.  For one, teach them not to share any personal information online, be it friend of stranger.  Under no circumstances meet a stranger face to face and, importantly, provide them with the platform to talk to honestly about any requests or interaction that might feel uncomfortable.

Secondly, invest in reputable security software that will enable you to proactively monitor and control your child’s online activities.  Bitdefender Internet Security 2019 and Total Security 2019 security software options come with a compelling Parental Control features.

“Both Bitdefender Total Security and Internet Security 2019 can be installed on multiple devices which means you can run it on more than one child’s laptop and mobile device.   Once installed, a profile for each child can be created and then parents can monitor and gain access to a myriad of online activity alerts and features, “explains Leo Meyer, representative of Bitdefender Country Partner for consumer products.

Parental Control

Bitdefender Parental Control which is accessed from the Bitdefender Central app or web console enables parents to create individual profiles for their children and then stay one step ahead of their online activities through the following important features:

  • Once a profile is created parents can set-up perimeters such as what applications children can gain access to. The easy-to-use “block and save” feature enables parents to quickly go through the application list and select the suitable option.
  • Furthermore, parents can block websites by specific categories.   Here a white and black list of websites can also be created – for example a child can gain access to all social media sites except Facebook.
  • Parents can also allow and block phone contacts – this is particularly beneficial when a child is bullied – the person in question won’t be able to call your child.  Also, private numbers can be blocked.
  • Parents can also set-up child locations – therefore what areas are safe and restricted.  This will depend on whether the child has GPS and data available when not at home.
  • Screen time can also be controlled – perimeters can be set for certain time intervals or times of the day.  In fact, multiple profiles can be created such as “week profile” and “weekend profile”.  Obviously, your child will still be able to contact your or make an emergency the call during this “restricted” time.
  • Once the above is created, parents will then have access to Children Activity Reports, provided via e-mail daily, weekly or monthly.  These activity reports will give parents insight into important information such:
    • Attempts to access blocked apps and websites;
    • Blocked call attempts;
    • Children entering safe or restricted locations

The above is undoubtedly a comprehensive set of features that can arm parents with the tools to effectively fight the perils of the online world, ultimately protecting their children against predators, cyber criminals, bullies and more.