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How to Protect Kids on the Internet

1 in 20 UAE Parents Are Doing Nothing to Protect Their Kids Online - Here's How to Start

A surprising 54 percent of moms and dad in the United Arab Emirates admit they are not taking the precautionary steps to ensure their child's safety on the Internet.

In a survey from Norton by Symantec, the anti-virus brand found that although parents in the country are concerned, the haven't actually done all they can to make sure their little ones aren't victims of cyberbullying and other threats.
A significant 87 said children should be under supervision due to the risk on mobiles, computers and other devices, and three in five a concerned their kids are giving away too much information on the Web. Although 71 percent admitted it was important to control what's being shared, a disappointing 24 percent failed to put a plan into action. At the same time 76 percent of the 1,000 questioned revealed they don't even limit what they share about their kids on their own social media accounts.

"We are entering unchartered waters when it comes to parenting today," said Tamim Taufiq, Head of Norton Middle East. "Technology has reshaped how our children grow up and has rewritten the rules of parenthood. Families are navigating a world where debates about screen time are as important as bedtime, where some parents ban social media or gaming, whilst others watch their children form fast friendships across borders and time zones. In today's digital world, parents are grappling with how they prepare, protect and empower their children to use technology safely."

One in three (31 per cent) parents has a child who has been bullied online or they know someone whose offspring have been, plus 34 per cent confessed either their child's online activities have compromised their own security or they know someone who that's been the case for.

However as moms and dads try not to tread the line of invading privacy and others don't know enough about the risks, 66 per cent don't limit access to any websites or apps, more than one in six sometimes allow their kids to shop online without supervision, 23 per cent let their children use devices in common areas, and 34 per cent let children browse unsupervised.

Not sure how to protect your kids online? Check out the tips from Norton by Symantec.

  1. Establish house rules and guidelines: these can include setting limits to screen time, the type of content a child accesses online or the appropriate tone of language to use online. These rules should vary depending on your children's age, maturity and understanding of the risks they could face online.
  2. Encourage your children to go online in communal spaces: it's about striking a balance where they don't feel that you are constantly looking over their shoulder and don't feel like they need to hide to go online. It will help put your mind at ease about what they are doing, and they'll know they can come to you if they are confused, frightened or concerned.
  3. Encourage and maintain an open and ongoing dialogue with your children on Internet use and experiences, including cyberbullying: You can also check Norton's top tips to start and maintain an open conversation with your children.
  4. Encourage kids to think before they click: whether they're looking at online video sites, receiving an unknown link in an email or even browsing the web, remind your child not to click on links which may take them to dangerous or inappropriate sites. Clicking unknown links is a common way people get viruses or reveal private and valuable information about themselves.
  5. Look out for harmful content: from websites to apps, games and online communities, your kids have access to a lot of content that can affect them both positively and negatively. Using smart family security and parental web safety tools, as well as the built-in security settings in your browsers, can help the whole family stay safe.
  6. Discuss the risks of posting and sharing private information, videos, and photographs, especially on social media.
  7. Be a good role model. Children are likely to imitate their parents' and adult's behavior, so lead by example.
  8. Use a robust and trusted security software solution, such as Norton Security, to help keep your children and devices protected against malicious websites, viruses, phishing attempts and other online threats designed to steal personal and financial information.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne
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