Keeping Your Children Safe Online

Keeping-your-children-Safe_online

Keeping Your Children Safe Online: A guide for New Zealand parents is written by John Parsons. Parsons is a cyber-safety expert, and is one of New Zealand’s leading authorities on keeping kids safe online. He’s taught cyber-safety workshops around the country, worked with the New Zealand police and government agencies, and developed some cutting-edge resources for teaching about internet health and safety.

What I’m Liking

Keeping Your Children Safe Online is a no nonsense sort of a book. It’s a technical guide on what to do for parents. But it’s also a very quick and easy read, jam packed full of tips and strategies. Parsons’s really just gets straight to the point, and tells parents exactly what they need to do to keep their children safe online.

The first section, interestingly, kicks off with a discussion about family values. But this really makes sense. Before he gets into the more technical aspects of the online world, Parsons steps us through topics such as communication, boundaries and acceptable use. I really like this. It sets up technology as not only important, but even fundamental, to the modern family. It’s about embracing technology, and weaving it into the cultural ‘norms’ of your family.

This really sets us up for the important, and inevitable conversations we’ll have with our kids about keeping safe online.

Part 2 then gets into the details, and it’s all here. From sexting to cyber-bullying to online sexual predators and more! It’s clear that Parsons know his stuff here, and that he’s worked with families who have been through the very worst of online harm. He has plenty of empathy, but also a heap of good strategies for parents to put into practice.

Any improvements?

I don’t often say this, but I really don’t think there’s any more that you need than what’s in this book.

It was exactly what I was expecting. A quick read, that covers all the bases, and jumps straight to the real, practical stuff I need to know as a parent. There’s case studies, quotes and expert opinion included, but just enough to convey a point, no more. The crux of the book is: ‘this is the risk online’, ‘here’s how to handle it’.

The risks will probably change over time. New platforms and new technologies will bring new dangers no doubt. I think the brief chapter on cyber-crime (scams, malware, etc.) could be one area where new risks keep appearing. But I’m sure Parsons will cover those issues as they arise (probably in a v2.0 🙂 ).

With 2 small children growing up fast in an ever-increasingly online world. This is the book I need as a parent to keep my kids safe online. To all other parents, please don’t leave this stuff to chance. Your knowledge is your child’s power!

Keeping Your Children Safe Online – Written by John Parsons – Published by Potton and Burton – RRP$34.99

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