How to keep kids safe online - tips from leading cyber-security expert John Parsons

Communication sits at the heart of society, and digital communications technology (DCT) has had rapid uptake. Our kids are connected and can communicate at an unprecendented scale. Smartphones are ubiquitous, an increasing number of schools have BYOD policies, and technology enables and empowers  learning in many positive ways. The challenge is to maximize the positive aspects of connection, while managing risk.

John Parsons is one of New Zealand's leading authorities on cyber-security. Highly regarded, Parsons has significant experience dealing with cyber-security crisis management. We recently had an interesting catch-up in our office, and his services are in high demand.

Over the years he's developed a toolbox of practical strategies for children and their caregivers designed to keep kids safe online and encourage good digital citizenship. He's just released his book Keeping Your Children Safe Online: A Guide for New Zealand Parents to empower children to live in the online world both safely and ethically. 

KeepingYour ChildrenSafeOnline

 

Parsons has divided his book into two parts. The first part examines the fundamental concepts and strategies required to be safe online, and includes six key areas: 

  1. Family values – how to anchor children to what’s important. This includes educating children to understand the value of self, to respect and protect family and friends, and to broadcast decency and positive values across the internet.
  2. Cyber-separation – keeping those lines of communication open, especially when the parent has little understanding of their child’s online world through unsupervised internet use. 
  3. A digital boundary – making informed, ethical decisions. Parsons provides strategies for parents on how to build appropriate digital boundaries.
  4. Cyber-muscles – Parsons demonstrates how children can learn to project confidence, power and control online. 
  5. Communication and the “cyber-tooth tiger” - how to deal with over-reaction from parents when things go wrong. 
  6. Acceptable use of digital devices – how to create a fair and balenaced relationship with digital technology.

The second part of the book examines specific risks including sexting, cyber-bullying, online grooming, digital addiction, cyber-crime, and the long-term impact of a digital footprint. Both sections contain real-life anecdotes and experiences, and demonstrate just how prevalent these issues for many of our children. It's an interesting read, and a hot topic for school communities. 

While his book has been written with parents and caregivers in mind, his key message is that the online world needs the same kind of boundaries as the physical world. It's important to provide high levels of support for young children's use of technology, then reduce that support as they get older providing age-appropriate guardianship along the way. 

If you'd like information about school internet filtering services, blocking VPN's, or parental control options with Family Zone we'd love to have a chat. 


Topics: digital parenting, teens on social media, New Zealand, John Parsons

Would you like some more information? Or a demo?
Get in touch
Subscribe to our newsletter
Follow us on social media
Popular posts
Parental Controls | Mobile Apps | Cyber Safety | smartphones | schools
Is Roblox Dangerous?
Cyber Safety | online gaming | schools | Fortnite | online chat
Is Fortnite: Battle Royale okay for my child?
Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | suicide | self-harm | momo | hoax
The Momo Challenge: How you can help your school community
Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | suicide | self-harm | momo | hoax
The Momo Challenge: What schools need to know
EdTech | classroom management | digital learning | screens in school
Screens in schools: Good for learning - or good for nothing?
school filtering | School internet monitoring | ecosystem | e-learning | classroom management | digital learning | New Zealand
The impact of the digital revolution on education

Recent posts

 
Can your school be sued over online bullying?

A growing body of research has established that bullying can create long-term catastrophic effects, both psychologically and physically. ...

 
Should education for respectful relationships be mandatory in Australian schools?

Should education for respectful relationships be mandatory in Australian schools?

 
What's keeping your students up at night?

Least surprising statistic of the week: 95% of school principals think students spend too much time on devices when they’re not in school.

 
Beyond cyber safety

Digital citizenship starts with safety - but it doesn’t end there.