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WebSafety NZ is concerned that many parents are turning a blind eye when it comes to the subject of cyber safety.
Over a 12 month period they ran several Internet Safety seminars presenting to parents on the subject of cyber safety. Owner and Director Dean Stewart says “Although the seminars were well marketed by the schools, attendance remained poor.”
The company offers a service of installing cyber safety software on home computers and teaching parents how to use the software. Stewart remarks that this service has also been under utilized.
“I’m concerned that a lot of what children are exposed to on the internet is either not known or understood by many parents”, he says.
WebSafety NZ recommend that while educating parents and their children on the dangers of the internet is the first step, installing monitoring software remains an essential tool for a parent to understand how their children use the internet.
Children are engaging in social networking and creating profiles on sites such as Facebook as young as 6 years old. Facebook require an individual to be at least 13 to create an account. However, children often lie about their age.
Dean Stewart said that younger children are more likely to give away personal information freely when asked, and are not mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions. Monitoring children’s internet surfing is recommended by WebSafety NZ from the age of 5, or as soon as they start using the computer.