Consumer, Family Safety

Why Tech-Driven Kids Need Safety-Focused Parents

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By on Oct 01, 2013

securityDid you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month? Yes, it is a mouthful, but it is an issue that is critical to your family and here’s why.

As parents raising kids in these daunting digital times, each day technology—both its benefits and its perils—affects the family dynamic. When some of us became parents over 20 years ago, we had no hint that technology would evolve—strike that, explode—to claim such a dominant role in family life. So we find ourselves trying to align our values and goals with the cultural variables of technology, and the hazards that come with it. No doubt, it is a new kind of parenting that requires a new set of skills.

Technology is in our homes and in our children’s hands every time we turn around and it can tread on sacred ground, gaining more influence in our children’s lives at times than even we may have. We’ve had to rethink the Norman Rockwell version of family and community we once imagined.

Now our families are wired and our communities, in large part, are online.

But with the growing influence tech has in our kids’ lives, we’ve also gained the unprecedented benefits of better communication, access to learning, and increased connectivity to one another. Technology has joined us across the globe and given us peace of mind and resources in times of crisis. We’ve raised tech-savvy kids with more access to information, education, and opportunity than any other generation in history.

The good news is that along with this shift, we’ve learned to quickly recognize and combat the criminal element that rolls in alongside any marked progress. As parents, we’re learning to rightly value technology’s ability to advance as well as inhibit and isolate and we (seemingly) appear to be more determined to protect our families online. With wisdom gained from hard lessons learned, we have learned to proceed with more open minds, open eyes, and a keen awareness of the digital hazards that somehow escape our children’s sight lines.

While our kids are more enamored than cautious with their gadgets, it is our job as parents to be their eyes, ears, and internal alert systems until they’ve developed those cyber senses on their own.

So this month we will be writing solely on specific ways you can increase security on the home front. We hope you will join us in this focused commitment to raising awareness around online security.

Along with this blog, check out McAfee’s other experts on this site as they discuss cyber security in depth and explore our shared responsibility in understanding this ever-shifting challenge.

 

Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist to McAfee. You can find her on Twitter @SafeEyes. (Disclosures).

 

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