By Laura Yecies
Summer is long since over school is well underway, and the realities are starting to set in. Around the world, a new generation of K-5 parents are dealing with a brand-new generational issue in child-rearing – how to keep your kids safe online.
We were Gen-Xers, the so-called slackers who turned out to be pretty ambitious after all. While we didn’t invent the Internet, many of us helped build it into what it is today.
Now, we’ve got to keep our kids safe, without having grown up in the same digital world. Yes, many of us are increasingly tech-savvy (the Internet started showing up in or around our college years, so we’re not completely clueless). But we certainly didn’t have the Net in kindergarten, nor were we building Facebook profiles to at age ten.
Dating back to the old Zone Labs days, all of us here on the ZoneAlarm team have long supported consumer education with our Defend the Net campaign (download the PDF format How to Protect your Family Online guide here http://download.zonealarm.com/bin/media/pdf/defendTheNet_howToGuide.pdf ). But we’re just one voice. Last month, the UK government has decided to undertake a massive effort to provide parents with a single-source guide to protecting kids online. From social networks to anti-malware, this site is expected to be very, very thorough.
More info here:
It’s an honorable effort. But since the problems are hardly directed at the UK, I’d like to propose that this becomes a global effort. We need one source, in many languages, where parents around the world can find out all the information they need to protect kids online.
Currently, in the US, there are a plethora of resources, both public and private. We like www.safekids.org. FEMA has a site too, www.fema.gov/kids/on_safety.htm. As does the FBI: www.fbi.gov/kids/k5th/safety2.htm. And the National Cybersecurity Alliance: http://www.staysafeonline.info/home-quiz.html. And there are others.
Others sites we like:
Internet Content Rating Association
The New York Public Library