Teens, tweens and technology

Incidences of cyber bullying are down and parent-child online transparency is up.

This was one of the findings of the research by Intel carried out annually to provide a gauge on the behaviour and opinions of young Aussies when they are online with regard to topics including social media usage, safety and cyberbullying.

During the event “Teens, Tweens and Technology Study 2015”, they shared key findings of their research. The study found that 46 per cent of Australia’s youth is interested in learning to program or write code (so impressed by this!), with 59 per cent hoping to use their cyber skills for protecting individuals’ privacy from being stolen by cybercriminals and 40 per cent for protecting people’s safety from attacks by terrorists.

And the not so good news? Despite the increase in trust, the research confirmed the need for parents to remain cautious given that one in three children still actively hide online activity from their parents (37 per cent) and one in five would meet a stranger they had first met online (11 per cent). That 11 per cent is scary!

Life Education Australia

So what can you do as a parent? Alex Merton McCann, Intel Security’s Cyber Mum shares her top five cyber parenting tips:

  • Connect With Your Kids: Talk casually and frequently with them about the online risks, and make sure the communication lines are open. Foster discussions around relevant news stories or cases at schools.
  • Set Password Rules: To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice, so ensure that your kids understand the importance of personal security.
  • Read App Reviews: Read the reviews for the apps your child is interested in, especially for any comments surrounding security. Personal recommendation is also great here, but another tip is to also encourage your kids to read the app’s review before they hit download.
  • Establish Rules Together: When everyone is calm, work out a set of online rules. You could even consider a formal Internet agreement or contract. Make sure you include time allowed online as well as what information can and can’t be shared online.
  • Up Your Tech Knowledge: Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use – but also stay knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks too. I would recommend creating accounts for the social networks that your kids are using, so that you fully understand what they’re interacting with.

What are your tops tips in ensuring your child is cyber-smart?

Disclosure: As an event attendee and much to my surprise, Intel Security has very graciously provided me with a VISA gift card and shouted me a gift certificate which includes a classic afternoon tea for two people at The Langham Sydney. The Langham Sydney is my most fave hotel.  So thanks heaps, Intel!

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