AVG Technologies Security Evangelist, Tony Ascombe, explains that the results of a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by AVG indicate that the cyber safety concerns for youth equipped with internet-enabled devices are all about the parent.

AVG Technologies Security Evangelist, Tony Anscombe, explains that the results of a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by AVG indicate that the cyber safety concerns for youth equipped with internet-enabled devices are all about the parent.

(This is a reprint from my Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner article recently published.)

In an interview earlier this week with AVG Technologies Security Evangelist, Tony Anscombe, he explains that the results of a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by AVG indicate that the cyber safety concerns for youth equipped with internet-enabled devices are all about the parent. This survey is scheduled to be released soon and was not available for publication at the time of this interview.

“This generation is far more aware of cyber safety privacy issues,” he said. “It is a primary subject in most schools and the consequences of sharing inappropriate information are generally known, and parent engagement is critical.” Anscombe  offers some insights and tips to educate your child to not give up their power to the device.

Parental control

According to Anscombe, “the kids are not the problem” as their recent survey indicates that only 41 percent of all parents set up blocks for kids aged three to 17, and younger parents are setting up filters or blocks at twice the rate of older parents. “We are seeing that the more tech-savvy kids grew up to be parents who are more proactive with cyber security,” he said. It’s the parents who are using the devices without discipline which is the current issue for modern youth.

Tip: Setting up blocks that only permission access to websites that are age-appropriate is an essential cyber safety measure that every parent should oversee. Every device has parental control settings, and so does most every app. A good resource for parental control information on multiple apps and devices is YourSphere.com.

  • Learn more about AVG parental controls here:
  • Other on-line family security apps can be reviewed here.

Open communication and learning

In addition to setting up blocks for your child’s device, Anscombe encourages parents to get educated and start talking with your child about the way to be secure in their on-line life – just like teaching them to ride a bike or cross the street safely. “Use of technology requires socialization, and we too must be willing to learn from our children,” Anscombe  said. “I taught my [teenage] son to monitor how his name is showing up on-line with Google alerts and my son discovered that I had inadvertently tagged him in a photo using only his first name. He asked me why did I do this and I realized I had made a mistake, and I removed his name from the tag in a photo.”

Tip: Youth are using social media, like SnapChat and Instagram to have conversations and hang out in their virtual communities. Set up your own account and have them connect with you so you can observe and reinforce a personal policy of sharing on-line only those things that really are for “everyone” since there is no privacy in the cyber realm.

Get interested in the apps your child wants to use

According to Anscombe , parents need to get interested in the apps their child wants to use. “Parents are purchasing apps for their children without really knowing who makes them or what they really do,” he said, “Download the apps your child is using and test them out yourself.”

Tip: Did you know that there are apps with hidden functionality? Below is a link to an example of a “calculator” that allows you to hide videos and websites available on iTunes for a modest fee:

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ABOUT:  Banana Moments Foundation is a non-profit education center founded in Roseville, CA to strengthen the parent-child bond in a hyper-connected world. The BMF mission is to restore families with the mustard seed of faith that declares liberty already belongs to the soul because one God grants every human being intelligence and free will and that is power that can never be taken, but is easily surrendered to the bully, the drug or the device. To that end, ten percent of all BMF proceeds are donated to prison ministries. Your Donations are greatly appreciated.

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Joanna Jullien (Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is a mother of two grown sons, the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM. Her new book, A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is now available for PC and all eReader formats including Kindle, Nook, iPad.