Digital safety for children and family

Kids in America are getting online at earlier and earlier ages.  A startling 38% of toddlers under 2 years old have used a mobile device.  Parents face a growing challenge in keeping their kids safe while they’re browsing on phones or tablet.

Brian Jaquet, head of communications with Internet security provider Ooma, says security features are important to protect against both objectionable content and security threats.  They can help make sure “web sites aren’t opened that are salacious, that you don’t click on links that might have phishing or malware or spyware that can be installed on the device.”

Jaquet points out that parental controls are a basic part of Internet security.  “Parental controls [are] very important,” he says, “so you can block a site that you absolutely don’t want children or other people in your family to go onto, and also provide a level of filtering.”

But technological fixes can only do so much.  Jaquet says talking to your children is the place to start.  “Communication is something that, in today’s digital age, sometimes gets lost, right?” he says.  “Instead of talking, a lot of times we put devices in front of our children to them occupied, or dare I say, shut them up.”

Jaquet, who has young kids of his own, says discussing Internet security with your children can be as important as the talk about “the birds and the bees.”  “We take for granted that these devices that provide so much joy and entertainment really don’t also expose us to harm,” he says.  But it takes a bit of extra effort and vigilance to keep the Internet experience safe for everybody.

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