‘Tis the season for many tweens and teens to receive their first smartphone, tablet or other internet-connected device. When giving the gift of tech, parents should also do what they can to give the gift of online safety. While most young people have grown up with technology and are comfortable navigating their online lives, a recent survey by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) revealed that teens and parents actually agree on their top three concerns surrounding online safety:
- Someone accessing a teen’s account without permission
- Someone sharing a teen’s personal information about them online
- Having a teen’s photo or video shared that they wanted to keep private
Almost half of the teens polled say their parents are among the top three sources for learning how to stay safe online; in fact, parents surpassed friends as a top source for guidance dealing with online safety and security. With this in mind, giving a tech-inspired gift this holiday season may offer the perfect opportunity to begin the internet safety and security dialogue.
Need a good starting point for that talk? According to the national survey, teens and parents share these similar concerns:
- Preventing identity theft
- How to be safer when using free Wi-Fi networks
If that seems a bit daunting to tackle this busy holiday season, the NCSA recommends starting small by communicating a shared understanding with your teen that there are certain expectations when they’re using internet-connected technology. The survey found that while parents thought their teens were aware of basic family online rules, the teens were unable to recall discussing with their parents any expectations for online activity.
View more tips and insight from the NCSA’s survey.