Stuff we don’t talk about:
It doesn’t matter how old they are, none of us want to have “The Talk” with our children. According to a recent poll*, we’d rather discuss race, disability, Father Christmas, or even sex.
The Talk, of course, is about e-safety – how children should use the Web safely, and recognise and avoid the threats that are out there. Three quarters of us accept it’s a parental responsibility to keep our little ones safe on the net, but it seems we just don’t want to talk about it with them.
Home e-safety matters at school, too.
Ofsted, the school inspectors, are very concerned about home e-safety, and about practical security too. They say that in 2012, two-thirds of families had no web filtering at home, at all. They’re of the view that protecting children at school is important, but it’s not good enough on its own.
In fact, Ofsted think family e-safety is so important, they now expect schools to help and advise parents, and school support for home e-safety now counts towards the overall Ofsted rating a school gets**.
So why is this so tough for parents?
E-safety seems to be really big issue! It’s technical and complicated. We don’t fully understand it ourselves, and of course we’re nervous about talking to our children. And there’s the other thing: we want them to get the most from the internet, too, so we don’t want to hold them back with unnecessary rules. It’s all too awkward and too hard.
But geeks can be parents, too!
Recently, Bristol IT Company, many of whose staff are both geeks and parents, were shown a Really Interesting Thing by one of their suppliers. The supplier, Cyberoam, is a global leader in the field of internet security, and the Really Interesting Thing was a new product Cyberoam have for home internet security, called NetGenie.
The reason it’s REALLY interesting is that it’s both very secure and very easy for parents to use.
All parents have to do is set it up (easy!), and then decide on the level of protection for each child in the family. The NetGenie takes care of everything else, protecting all home devices — phones, tablets, smart TVs and even games boxes — and getting its security updates automatically from a global database at Cyberoam HQ.
Parents can set safety levels by age. They can also choose what types of activity children can do and when, for example homework time, Facebook time, games time and internet “bedtime”. It takes minutes to set up for a whole family, and it even allows “after bedtime” movies (for grown-ups only, of course!).
Simon Muir, Bristol IT’s Market Development Manager, commented, “I wish something like this had been available when mine were smaller! It would have made life so much easier for us.”
He may be right. Bristol IT Company like NetGenie so much they’ve set up a special purchase scheme for parents and schools in the Bristol area. To find out more about NetGenie and how to get one yourself, go to http://bristolitcompany.com/netgenie.
You may find that having The Talk has just got a lot easier.
*Survey by OnePoll for Disney Corp., Sept. 2014
**Ofsted, “Inspecting e-safety” April 2014
*Disclosure: Sponsored post.