As part of #CyberAware month, we are going beyond just helping secure organizations but also focusing on parents and kids. On Wed, 14 Oct we hosted our webcast Securing Your Kids as part of #CyberAware month. We explained the top threats to kids today and what you can do to help keep them safe and secure online. Ultimately our goal is to enable the use of technology for kids, not ban it. There was a great question at the end of the webcast. A parent was concerned about their 10 year old watching YouTube videos on gaming. Yes, this is a huge thing. Kids not only spend hours playing videos games but watching YouTube how other kids play games. As a father of three boys (6, 12 and 15) I can definitely confirm this trend. So I asked my boys what they thought about the question, do they feel it's a problem? They did, and here's why.
- Both of my older boys confirmed this is huge. They both agreed this was even popular with tweens age 10-12.
- These videos can be extremely adult natured. There can be a huge amount of swearing, sexual innuendo or violence. A perfect example is PewDiePie's channel. He has 40 million subscribers, including kids.
This is a good example of one of the biggest challenges we as parents face. YouTube, just like the Internet, has a wealth of information and great resources for learning. But it has alot of unacceptable content also. First and foremost, as we covered in the webcast, education is your best weapon. You have to make sure your kids understand the risks of using technology, and what the rules are. Yes you can filter YouTube videos (check out Restricted Mode, which Google used to call Safety Mode) but you have to enable this on every browser type for every device a child is using, perhaps even YouTube on your TV. Even then, what happens when they are at friends' houses, Grandparents, download a different app, etc.
Technology can help, but ultimately talking to your children, and them talking to you is key. Don't think you need to get involved in your kids' online activities? Check out what their friend Mr. PewDiePie is up to.