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How to talk tech and keep your kids safe online
Children around the world, like all of us, had an unusual time in 2020. Instead of adventuring in the great outdoors, they were making do with what they had – exploring the far reaches of the internet. But what exactly were they doing and how can parents protect them?
Where did kids spend most of their time during lockdown?<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYzODAyNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTkwMDU2Nn0.BzXCQAhjbP0dki2QJYGH8hLV5KQMCHTkWjTlZI_5vyI/img.jpg?width=980" id="dd89d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2420d44c36f32334fb570a9ab18cfda1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="4218" data-height="3290" />
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels<p>A new <a href="https://securelist.com/how-kids-coped-with-covid-hit-winter-holidays/100450/" target="_blank">study from Kaspersky Safe Kids</a> shows that during the winter of this pandemic, despite restrictions, kids entertained themselves online, with YouTube (21 percent) and gaming (15 percent) being the most popular activities. The top topic on YouTube? Video games. Kids went mad for them. 37 percent searched for video game clips, including channels of game streamers who play different games and channels for specific games like Minecraft.</p><p>Another new trend was TikTok, <a href="https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics/" target="_blank">which has exploded to 800 million monthly active users in more than 150 countries</a>.<br><br>It's official – more of our kids' lives are being lived online. Agreed, the web and its many applications are great for keeping children entertained, but how do you protect them from threats?<br><br>"Get home before the dark." "Look left and right before crossing the street." "Don't talk to strangers." Classic parental lines from the pre-internet era. But it's easy to forget that what's inside the home may be just as dangerous as outside it in today's connected world.</p><p>The internet and mobiles bring us entertainment, education, and excitement - but also cyberthreats, like strangers wanting to befriend your child online. The study shows although 84 percent of parents are worried about their children's online safety, on average, they only spend a total of 46 minutes talking to them about online security throughout<a href="https://www.kaspersky.com/about/press-releases/2019_parents-are-worried-about-their-childs-online-safety" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> their entire childhood</a>. So how can you keep your children safe online? #TimeToTalkOffline</p>
Educate yourself<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjE2MzQwMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNTc3OTQ1NH0.nMmOgvDJI0Vx1Hv03LBkZOX_7JfxA5sk1fxSYwJ-Lgk/img.jpg?width=980" id="14bc4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="509e4549d82e064c0d6731ed4d6cc681" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Getty Images<p>Before you can talk confidently about web safety with your kids, you first need to know more than how to throw a sheep on Facebook or avoid using 'reply all' on an office email joke thread. Educate yourself now about topics like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">fake news</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberbullying" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cyberbullying</a> or <a href="https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/Online-grooming/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">online grooming</a>. Teach yourself how to keep your data safe online and then show your children how to do it. Let them know that what goes on the web stays on the web, even if it gets deleted from their profiles. And the most important part: make them talk to you the moment they sense something could be wrong - whether someone has taken their videos, or a stranger is asking them to share private photos.</p>
Learn more about your children’s interests<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYzODAzOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzA2NDMzM30.Y0Ba4XnFx6BLhUatVu8ig8YQptEa1c8Ws8el2Vh69AM/img.jpg?width=980" id="bcfa6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9cb85712464bebf85c1c13c862939e47" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="7328" data-height="4891" />
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels<p>Without being pushy or overbearing, try talking to your child about what they search for and what they enjoy. That way, you can keep a closer eye on those particular sites. Need a hand? <a href="https://www.kaspersky.co.uk/safe-kids" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kaspersky Safe Kids</a> can provide you with regular reports about how they spend their time online. The app analyzes your children's search activity and manages screen time without encroaching on their personal space.</p>
Act as a role model<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjE2MzQwMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMjkwNzc5M30.EaqLnGqjg5TnD7trLipeucC5Eg3Byh_13HgHf_UyGIs/img.jpg?width=980" id="1eb98" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="97ba4f8442487f2ee5c071eedf67a102" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Getty Images<p>No matter what we tell our kids, we have to lead by example: if you're a smoker, no matter how often you tell your children that smoking is bad for them, <a href="https://www.washington.edu/news/2005/09/28/children-whose-parents-smoked-are-twice-as-likely-to-begin-smoking-between-ages-13-and-21-as-offspring-of-nonsmokers/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">they are twice as likely to begin smoking</a>. We can all talk a lot; in the end, our kids will copy our behavior and not just what we preach. Be careful of how you use the Internet, don't take your mobile with you when going to the toilet, and if your kids allow you to befriend them on social media (lucky you,) don't judge them when they post jokes or complain about their homework – because they are well aware of how to keep you from seeing their posts, without you knowing – but teach them well and make them understand the consequences.</p>
Trust goes both ways<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjE2MzQwNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2NjQ5MzY5N30.gr5R00ihk76I2u4uGwXi-Cq14UdYEH0bYQKT9mCYiIY/img.jpg?width=980" id="32ecf" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4f7c72ccaacf98acdecbe0aed5dac027" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Getty Images<p>You can't expect your kids to trust you if you check their browser history every time they use the computer (and they probably know how to delete it anyway ;) Otherwise they'll start getting sneaky and hide things from you. If your child thinks they're doing something wrong and might get in trouble if you find out, then when they are in <em>real </em>trouble, let's say a stranger online tells them to "brush your hair and take your picture," then they may not talk to you.</p><p><br>Read more about <a href="https://securelist.com/how-kids-coped-with-covid-hit-winter-holidays/100450/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">how kids coped with COVID-hit winter holidays</a> on SecureList.</p>
Chicago's tiny not-for-profit taking on powerful institutions.
The history of surveillance is one of control. As monitoring technologies accelerate, one not-for-profit noticed a concerning rise in unethical police cell phone observation. Their objections led to new, stronger digital rights legislation.
Stingrays and cell phones: Is your pocket private?<p>Smartphones have improved our lives more than we could have imagined. We work on them, use them to take and store private photos and they know where we are at any moment. But with advanced surveillance techniques, phones have become a powerful way for law enforcement to observe and identify us, ethically or not.</p><p>Last year's change to remote life made us all digital. Are we now in danger of trading private digital data for convenient digital services? Check out Kaspersky's <a href="https://securelist.com/" target="_blank">privacy predictions</a> for 2021 and learn how this year is going to affect our privacy in cyberspace.</p><p>One Chicago not-for-profit, <a href="https://lucyparsonslabs.com/" target="_blank">Lucy Parsons Labs</a>, is demanding government agencies like the police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) be more transparent about how and why they track people through their phones. Defenders of Digital episode three speaks with Lucy Parsons Labs' Executive Director Freddy Martinez about how law enforcement use technologies to covertly observe people, what it means for digital rights and how his team made US legal history.</p>
Stories about those who make sure that our connected life is secure and free
Everything that is connected to the internet can be hacked. Social media have become a battleground for political influencing and populism. Fake news are everywhere. Digital freedom is under scrutiny. Artificial Intelligence is out of control. Big tech companies own the world.
That all sounds dire.
And while it all is partially true, it also isn't. As with everything in life: when humans interact, there will be frictions. Not everybody has good intentions. So we have to be vigilant, and we need guardians, protectors, heroes or just ordinary people with a good sense for what is right or wrong.
The smallest things can have a massive impact. A young man registers a domain and shuts down a global cyber attack. A sports star kneels and provokes a national discussion about values. A power outage in the middle of nowhere disconnects millions of people from the internet – and an electrician saves the day. A retired policeman stops someone from taking money from an ATM and thus delivers the crucial clue to halt a global ring of digital bank robbers.
We all can be heroes and can be forgotten the next day. This section tells stories of average people saving our digital world. By creating policies, by maintaining infrastructure, by stopping criminals and by protecting children. These are stories of you and me — the real heroes of today – the guardians of the digital world.
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