Child safety on the internet is a hot topic at the moment. If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will know that this is a subject I have been concerned about for sometime now.
A recent TV program aired on Channel 4 only confirmed those fears and fuelled my desire to protect our children even more. The reporter, Martin Daubney (ex-editor of Loaded magazine) cited some alarming statistics and gave viewers an insight into the kind of material that children as young as 12 are being exposed to on the internet. I am not naive but this report shocked me.
Martin also reported that out of the twenty Year 9 pupils he interviewed, none of them had any kind of protective software installed on their home computers. As a parent, do we not have a duty to protect our children whenever and however possible?
A year or so ago, I did some investigating into suitable protection software for our home PC. After being blinded by all the different paid and non-paid options available, I put a shout out on Twitter. I subsequently downloaded some free protection software onto our home computer - K9. This protection was so good that it blocked every single site we put into the search engine - not very handy when it comes to homework but better than nothing.
When my eldest daughter joined Facebook, 6 months ago, I realised a greater need for protection. Although I did insist that she wait until she turned 13, the dangers of having an on-line presence are rife, no matter what age: cyber bullying; grooming; sexting; not to mention the overwhelming temptation to over-share (potentially affecting her future).
As a precaution I asked her to accept me as a 'friend' and I made sure that I recorded her password. I was not entirely happy with this arrangement, as the intrusion into her privacy seemed a little extreme but in my opinion, leaving a 13 year old to her own devices on the internet is dangerous territory.
So when Cyscon invited us to trial a 12-month subscription to Avira's Family Protection Suite, I was immediately interested. On further investigation, it turns out that this particular piece of software covers all the bases:
- Safe browsing - blocks any inappropriate websites and limits the time spent online.
- Alerts engine - as a parent you receive an alert if/when references to suicide, drugs, alcohol, sex or cyber-bullying are present on your child's social network.
- Photos engine - if a compromising photo of your child is posted on the internet you are notified.
- Activities engine - a review of your child's activity on social media is sent weekly.
- Friends engine - a convenient overview of new friends is provided weekly. Anyone who appears unusual (has no friends in common/an adult), is immediately flagged up.
As well as the above, the usual antiviral/malware protection is provided and with one subscription, you can upload the software onto as many devices in your home as you choose. For more information, go and check out Avira's site here. If you would like to see another review of the software, Cyscon's very own mummy blogger has written her review here.
The total cost of the Avira Family Protection Suite is £38.99 for 12 months - a small price for peace of mind.
Cyscon is offering an additional Avira Family Protection Suite for one of my readers. So if you'd like to ensure protection for your children on the internet, please fill in the Rafflecopter and leave a comment below.
Competition closes at midnight on 3rd January 2014
Terms & Conditions
- Entrants must be over 18
- Only open to UK residents
- A blog comment must be left in order for the competition entry to be valid
- A 12 month subscription to Avira Family Protection Suite (provided by Cyscon) will be emailed direct to the winner. No alternative options are available.
- The winner must respond within 7 days
- Competition closes at midnight on 3/1/14.
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