Recently our IT Security & Compliance Team – in cooperation with the Herzogenaurach & Nuremberg police – offered workshops for parents on internet safety. Being a parent of two kids, I immediately felt addressed as the core target audience and thought what a great opportunity to refresh my knowledge.

For our children, the World Wide Web is a given commodity they grow up with and it is really hard for them to imagine that our digital world is rather young. As digital natives, they are impressively quick and savvy in mastering the latest technologies and spotting new trends, but when it comes to internet safety and legal aspects, they ARE children and of course lack knowledge and experience. How should they know!?

Although I’ve always had the feeling that I am pretty well informed – at least in theory – I learned so much that night. It was excellent to listen to and discuss with real experts, providing us with guidance on how best to protect our children, sharing best practices and many tangible examples from their daily work. The team gave insight into the following areas:

  • The internet – What are the dangers?
  • Internet search – What should you keep in mind when using it?
  • Software – How can technology protect your family from the dangers of the internet?
  • Copyright and contracts – What is the legal situation in Germany?
  • Social media – The perils of social networking

Empower your kids

It is important to sensitize kids in internet usage.

You probably agree that the overall topic has a negative connotation and might scare some of us off. Words like “danger”, “pitfalls”, “data protection” or “cyber-bullying” can be pretty daunting and deep down inside we’d rather not be confronted with the potential consequences of our children being affected.

However, what I learned in this workshop: yes, there are perils, yes, there will always be people online not behaving responsibly, and yes, not every aspect has been legally tackled to date – but there are also measures to raise awareness and sensitize ourselves and our children. The internet has become an integral part of our lives, no doubt about that, so we’d better educate and empower our kids and provide them with guidance and the right tools to safeguard themselves in this digital jungle. Here are my personal takeaways in a nutshell:

  • Media literacy starts with us parents – keep on learning!
  • Do not rely on technology alone
  • Protect the privacy of your family
  • To get started, join your children when going online
  • Trust your kids and enable them to access the internet independently
  • Keep up the dialogue

Keeping this in the back of my mind and of course acting accordingly, I hope that we as a family are in a strong position to easily master the challenges that may lie ahead of us. I’d like to extend a big thank you to the adidas Group IT Security & Compliance Team and the local police for offering this extra service to employees.

In case you are interested in digging deeper and want to know whom to turn to for advice, I’ve found the following internet sites very helpful. I am sure there are many more out there, but these are my personal recommendations.

http://www.klicksafe.de/

http://institut-medienpaedagogik.de/webhelm/webhelm/

http://www.saferinternet.org/esafety-kit

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

http://www.webwise.ie/

2 COMMENTS

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by Jan 24.07.2014
A very good article with facts that are important especially for young people and our children
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by Raj_Jalu 24.07.2014
Nice article with good observation and important information about children and use of internet.....
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