Protecting our future!
Having been in this industry now for almost 15 years, and being on the planet for over double that, I have seen the technological world develop beyond all recognition.
When I went to school it was 1 green screen computer between 2 classrooms and no one had mobiles. We then saw the first basic brick mobiles that you could only call, text or play snake on and all of a sudden every adult has a small computer permanently attached to them in some way.
We all heavily rely on our phones, tablets and laptops for work and play, to keep in touch and find things out. And these days I'm seeing more and more children doing the same.... Including my own now!
Every parent knows that keeping their children safe online is a daunting task. We see desperately sad news stories more and more now, where cyber bullying has affected a child so much that they've logged out.....of everything. Add to that the terrifying notion that the online friend your child is interacting with may not be a 12 year old school child, but a 43 year old adult with bad intentions, and quite frankly I want to throw all my electronics off a cliff to keep my baby safe!
But this won't keep my baby safe, I know that. Young people are growing up in a different world now, a world where they access the internet with ever-increasing ease. It's also a world where they need online devices for their education, as much as I used to need a pen and paper and the Ceefax news page! So what do I do? How can I protect my child?
Luckily, I'm in the right business to find out, and I want to share with you what I've found so you can use this information yourself or pass it along to someone else who may benefit. The NSPCC and O2 have teamed up and created a whole site of information and videos. They also have helplines and online advisors just waiting to help.
It covers everything from advice on social media to explaining Pokemon Go and Minecraft (whatever that is!), advice on child friendly devices, or setting parental controls on your devices. Apps, online bullying, gaming, addiction... everything is covered.
Directly from this site o2 have written the following –
"To kids, online life is real life. There's no difference between the people they speak to on social media and their friends at school. And the experiences they have over the internet are as real to them as anything else.
Families often think they know exactly what their kids get up to online, and that they understand all the apps and sites their kids use. But with technology changing every day, that's not always the case.
So we've partnered with NSPCC to help you keep your kids safe.
On this hub, you'll find articles on everything from online bullying, to the apps your kids are using. Each article follows the same structure. First, we'll explore and explain the topic. Then we'll give you tips on how to talk about it with your kids. We'll give you some ideas on ground rules you might want to agree. Then help you with how to manage technology to keep your kids safe.
And if you need more help on anything, from setting up parental controls to reporting online bullying, you can call our free helpline on 0808 800 5002, or visit an O2 Guru in one of our stores."
A big THANK YOU to O2 and the NSPCC for this amazing hub of help, knowledge and advice. I shall certainly be giving this a good looking at over the coming days, weeks, months and years.