Trend Micro Says: Click Right to Keep Children Safe Online

10:37 AM

More than anything else, many people see technological gadgets and devices as toys especially in the hands of children. Because the same devices are used primarily for entertainment purposes, we tend to presume that they are always safe to use. An Internet-connected device brings threats right into homes, sometimes without the knowledge of parents.

To say that this issue concerns our own household is a fact, having two school-aged children ( 9 and 13 years old respectively ) who seem to have less-than-complete lives without online activity. While the younger one is still pre-occupied with games and videos, the older one now has a social media life to attend to. It will be the understatement of the century just to say that not everything is always smooth when it comes to laying down rules and limitations on their online access. Apparently, we are not alone in this dilemma.

Click Right Advocacy 

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in security software invited the media yesterday  for a round table discussion regarding its Click Right Advocacy. It aims to promote Internet Safety for Kids and Families (ISKF). The event was held at 2nd's Restaurant at Bonifacio High Street.

It is impossible to speak about an advocacy of this nature without touching on the existing threats found in the online world. These threats were clearly identified by Paul Oliveria, Security Focus Lead of Trendlabs and Vincent Daraliay, Product Manager of Trendlabs. Trendlabs is the Global Technical Support and R & D Center of Trend Micro.

What is Happening Online?

Before we are able to fully appreciate and understand what we parents should be getting worried about with the online activity of our children, it would be best to know first what is actually happening. Kids are sharing their personal information, even those that should be kept private. Many are guilty of illegal file sharing without their knowledge. Quite a good number of children are participating in making disparaging comments about others that can be tantamount to cyber-bullying.

Access to the Internet gives rise to the possibility that children will be exposed to inappropriate content, unwanted contact, aggressive or undesired commercialism, and covert web threats. These can all be inadvertently seen by the kids without proper control and education from parents themselves. Protection of children from these threats will require the active involvement of parents and children to put things in their proper perspective.

What Can Be Done?

Trend Micro gives the following tips as counter measures to potential web hazards...

1. Keep your kid's computer in a common area so you can see your child using it.
2. Agree to a limited schedule for using the Internet and all mobile devices.
3. Keep security software up-to-date.
4. Agree on websites your kids can visit.
5. Use URL filtering.
6. Download a website reputation service and visit the websites.
7. Review the content and privacy/security policies of the sites your child frequents.
8. Talk with your kids about online privacy.
9. Ignore unwanted contact from people they have never met.
10. Run a manual scan with your software security and check browser history.

...and some tips as well in the proper online behavior

1. Think before you post anything in the web.
2. Maximize privacy tools available in social networking sites.
3. Use social networking sites to create a positive impact.
4. Be respectful of other people's feelings.
5. Use a good and easy-to-use antivirus software.

Launching of "What's Your Story" Video Contest

Trend Micro's Click Right Advocacy is aimed at reaching the consciousness of people who are actively using the Internet and Social Media on a daily basis. In connection with this, Trend Micro launched its "What's Your Story" Video Contest for the first time here in the Philippines. The contest however was being held in other countries already prior to the current year. Its chosen theme is "Why Do I Need to Maintain a Good Online Reputation?". 

Starting November 1 up to December 13, 2013, entries for 30-second to 2-minute video materials will be accepted. The Grand Prize for local winners will receive $2000. The local winner will have the chance to win $5000 in the regional level as it competes with the winning entries of Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Please see here for complete contest details.

My Say

One of the trickiest aspects of parenting is knowing when to allow and when to control. The need to determine the difference has never been more marked as when applied to online accessibility of children. This is a journey of discovery which parents will have to take with their children.

That said, Online accessibility is good but it can be made better if users, especially children are sufficiently protected from identified and potential threats. Social media postings that show people in a bad light will return in some future time to haunt them. Children and adults as well will have to understand that what goes online stays there forever. 

We should be asking ourselves one question right now: How is our online reputation? 

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