Published on May 6th, 2015 | by admin

AVG Mother’s Day Gift Suggestion: Show Mum You’re Safe Online

If you’re looking for Mother’s Day ideas, suggest the kids show how they’re using the Internet safely

AVG Technologies, N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the online security company™ for over 200 million active users, suggests Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to give mums a break from supervising the family’s use of the Internet. Everyone needs to be aware of how to keep themselves out of trouble – whether it’s toddlers glued to the iPad, teenagers sharing passwords, or Dad using CC rather than BCC when sending the footy team roster as an open message to the whole club.

From its extensive global AVG Digital Diaries studies of how children and their parents use the Internet, AVG recognises that mothers worry about their kids’ online lives. And because the Internet poses very real threats from bullies to hackers, that concern is completely justified. From our research, we know that if Mum has a toddler, she’ll worry about how much screen time is appropriate. By the time kids are in pre-school, mothers are juggling teaching their children to tie shoe laces and keeping tabs on what they are comprehending as they seemingly master every piece of connected technology.

The research also shows that by primary school, just under half of Australia’s children are starting to communicate with each other online, mostly through gaming consoles as they progress to Internet-based games. A quarter of 10-13 year old ‘tweens’ are already on Facebook with the inherent challenges that social media brings. And by mid-teens, any intervention by Mum is seen as spying, according to the survey respondents. Michael McKinnon, AVG’s Security Awareness Director, said, “Being connected online is cutting deeply into quality time together as a family. With a light touch and by having some fun, Mother’s Day could be an ideal way to open the conversation about what everyone is doing and seeing – and the importance of safe online behaviours.” So, Mums, why don’t you suggest to the family that they use your special day as a ‘Free Mum from Worry Day’?

AVG’s 5 Great Ideas for a ‘Free Mum from Worry Day’

  1. Show me your smarts: While your children are supremely confident when it comes to technology, here’s a way of finding out what they really know. As busy mums seldom have the time to update their own devices, have the kids help you update functionality, apps, security software, operating systems and passwords. If you want a new iPad or a wearable device, ask the kids to contribute to the present by configuring it for you, being mindful of the privacy settings, and wrap it up all ready for you to use.
  2. ‘Get out of techno-jail free’ card: Over the next year, you will be able to redeem this homemade card’s offer. Without any snide remarks or eye rolls, the family will help you out whenever you’re frustrated by some technology or need assistance with choosing downloads. And, of course, you’ll be able to keep in touch with their growing technical knowledge.
  3. Create a family photo album: Suggest that everyone pools their favourite photos from their phones, Facebook and Instagram. Send them to one of the online photo book printers, such as Snapfish or PhotoBox, and create an album that can sit in your lounge room as a reminder of the good times you have in the real world, together.
  4. Device-free dinner: Make Mother’s Day dinner one where there are no gadgets or devices at the table. Use the time to talk about what exciting, positive things you’ve found on the Internet– which also opens the conversation to the crazy, dumb things the kids’ friends have been up to online. Get them to tell you the tips and tricks they know about that will protect everyone in the family from cyber criminals.
  5. Password game: Play a game to create clever, memorable passwords: turn ilovemum (unsafe) to iL0veMUM (better, but at only 8 characters, isn’t long enough), to mYMUMhas4!cats.

The confidence to talk openly about problems is the best protection from bullying, hackers and scammers. McKinnon says, “Our kids need to understand that there are people out there deliberately putting children – and adults – in situations where they feel too embarrassed to tell anyone they’re in trouble. They need to know that it’s ok if they feel guilty about some attractive link that they’ve clicked through to. It’s better to overcome the dread and report malicious activity – it’s the only way these criminals can be stopped. So, for a carefree Mother’s Year, enjoy building your safe, connected family.”

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