Home » The Art of Data Protection » #securechat Recap: Child Safety Online and Using Mobile Devices

caution laptopLast week’s #securechat Twitter chat focused on rules & technology to keep kids safe online – whether they’re using a family computer or their own mobile devices. The internet is a crucial tool for social, economic & educational progress. But, without proper safeguards & training, children can be exposed to inappropriate content or cyber predators. They also can unintentionally open the door to malicious web code, viruses, Trojans, keyloggers, and other cyber threats. It’s the job of parents, guardians, educators, and public facilities to create an environment where kids can learn how to use the internet & mobile devices safely.

Top tips this week came from @tsodell, @rogeroottawa, @jenatsafenet, @securitytrends and @paulardoin. Thanks for sharing your experiences & advice.

Tech recommendations:

  • Bsecure – Warns kids of questionable sites – they can click through, but the software will email the parent. has time mgmt/limits across multiple computers and iPod/Pads
  • K9 WebProtection – helps block russian ads, popups, and allows for custom URL filtering
  • NetNanny – Blocks inappropriate sites, masks profanity, monitors social media & IM, allows time controls.
  • AdBlocker – @securitytrends: AdBlocker is an add-on you’d wanna install in browser. nothing worse than a 10-yr old finding that ‘Awesome Marketing’ is giving away the free iPod his parents didn’t want to buy him for Christmas.

Parental controls:

  • Parents should check browser history regularly.
  • @tsodell: I think it is ok for kids to have internet-enabled devices, but they need supervision and boundaries with consequences.
  • @hillarts: Macs are nice because you can actually schedule times when the machines can be used, what apps they can use. I also have an admin account setup on all of their machines that I can use to access them
  • @jenatsafenet: My kids don’t have download access…I just use my windows account settings and my admin level is pw protected. Simple.
  • @PaulArdoin: I have browser pop-up blocker on 24×7. URL filters are schizo–filter out educational sites for anatomy (which my son needed) and send msg that he’s not trusted.

Rules for going online:

  • Kids can’t use a program or site if parents don’t have their own supervisor account or the kids’ password for monitoring.
  • No chat. Emails allowed only with a limited (parent-approved) contact list.
  • Discuss anything fishy with your parent.
  • No real names/location to anyone online.
  • Kids must use the internet in common area, under parent supervision, no apps/songs downloaded without a parent’s password.


Not sure which sites are safe? Here are some articles with recommended sites for kids: and But remember, nothing can replace an involved parent. Equip them to make good choices!

@rogeroottawa: Tools created/use will have limitations. I want to instead arm my kids with knowledge and boundaries that they themselves own.

@JenatSafeNet: Definitely education is key. My kids are learning how to be safe in school and at home. Make sure you know where they are visiting.

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This post was written by +Cheryl Shoults

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