We discussed kids’ safety online and went beyond “Stranger Danger”. Chances are, we could talk about this for hours on end. We're here to help kids and their parents navigate a digital world safely through knowledge and best practices.
What you are about to read may be difficult to digest.
- In 2017, there were 20.5 million reported images of child abuse sex materials and in 2018, that number rose to 45.8 million.
- 53% contained images of children under 10 years old. 2% of those were children under 2 years old.
- 28% are considered BSDM involving children, 84% was nude content, and 91% was video content.
- It is estimated that 9 children per minute are abused in the United States alone.
- Due to schools shutting down during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a 200% increase in child abuse. The kids are now home with their abusers and the teachers trained to recognize and report this abuse are not able to do so. These children are also on the internet unsupervised and unmonitored.
What Exactly IS the Problem?
Many school staff and other organizations are doing their absolute best to try and educate kids in school to be better digital citizens. There is still so much more work to do and that includes educating the parents as well.
Cyberbullying is increasing with kids learning how to be anonymous online. It includes any way of affecting someone’s feelings in a negative way. The bully feeds the audience and then their target is left feeling like the whole world is against them.
Even with all of the education, kids are still falling in the trap. They know there are dangers online so why is this happening? It's because they don't know what to do when they encounter those dangers.
Kids are handed devices for holidays and birthdays and off they go for the most part. We wouldn't hand them the keys to our cars without teaching them to drive so why are parents doing this with cell phones and tablets?
The parents and kids want to learn. The trouble is that the parents feel the kids are more technically advanced than they are. This may be true. But this isn't a problem with technology. It's a human issue. The simple fact is that kids are not emotionally equipped to handle online responsibilities without parental intervention. The parents on the other hand are and that is where their guidance helps out the most.
Do We Monitor, Communicate, or do BOTH?
Both. The same type of attacks that work on adults work the same way on kids but in a different context. You can teach common sense to kids. It's the same in the physical world. Don't accept candy from strangers works the same as Don't accept free game tokens from people online.
Monitoring Without Being Too Nosey
What kind of safety net do you need and what ages are appropriate for what? Parental controls are an amazing gateway into monitoring kids' activities and setting limits for what they can see online. Start here and let little Johnny have fun online. Microsoft, Android, Google, and Apple have these settings on their devices. Best of all, these settings are custom. You probably don't want your 4 year old watching scary movies but maybe your 17 year old can.
Communicating by Age in the Digital Age
This is the biggest and most influential way to make sure your kids are doing their best to be safe online. Start them as early as you can with caution and preparedness. Let them know that if anyone or anything they see makes them uncomfortable, they can shut the laptop and walk away or even report it to an adult.
Tell them what to look out for online. For example, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Free game downloads like skins are never just free. If they see pictures of anyone with their clothes off, they should tell you about it.
The rules change as the kids grow and the parents need to evolve as well.
Download and use the apps they are using so that you know how they work. Keep up to date on the risks online, Know who your kids are talking to and make sure you are their friend on social media. Stay up to date on technology trends and definitely learn about what to do in the event something bad does happen. Who is the liason between children and police for your city?
Create a family agreement and make sure that if any rules are broken, your kids are held accountable.
Because all who were involved in this webinar are so passionate about child safety online and because of all of the valuable information we have researched and received, we have created an entire web page packed to the brim with resources that will guide parents into a better understanding of how to protect their kids online. Some of those resources include videos on how to set up parental controls, articles on what is at risk, and family agreements that grow with kids. Please check this out, bookmark it, read it, and read it again. Help us spread this message.
Wizer’s hacker, Chris Roberts!
Christopher Hadnagy - CEO at Social-Engineer, LLC Speaker, Teacher, Pentester and recognized expert in the field of Social Engineering and Security
David Schwartzberg - President, Hak4Kidz NFP
Gabriel Friedlander - Wizer Founder and CEO