We all know that computers and technology are advancing at a rapid rate, and with faster broadband and 4G services being rolled out accessing these services can be easily obtainable from smartphones, tablets and personal computers. However, despite the numerous educational facilities and Internet-safety software tools, it’s not just your PC at risk— your children are also at risk from online predators. In a recent survey on the TV programme “This Morning”, results revealed more than half of parents do not think their children are safe online.
What is the problem or key issue?
Simple answer: parental awareness. How many times do we need to hear “I don’t know what they get up to…” or “They know much more about these things…”? However, it only takes a scare, whether public or personal, to start the realisation that your kids are at risk. In any one week two-in-five calls we receive relate to Internet risks, which means those computers are either unprotected or with inadequate protection for use by young children.
Here’s an example: we get a call from a parent who starts with a simple “My PC is slow, can you fix it for me…?” We collect the PC, and by analysing the problem find that it has been infected with a virus inherited through Messenger. When the issue is investigated further, and with the parents’ consent, we find well over 300 Messenger friends, the majority of which are unknown to the parents, with such bogus names as “sexy123” and “WillingIAm”, which leaves me in no doubt where these infections have probably come from.
To emphasise the point, we are not just talking about a few computer infections, we are talking about a sophisticated network of paedophiles who use web sites, emails and social networks to trap children into believing they are interacting with peers of the same age group.
“What can I do about it?”
First, pay attention to what your children are doing: if your computer isn’t already in a public area of the home, put it there or, if you use a laptop, get the kids to use it in the living room area or kitchen or wherever you are.
Secondly, heed the advice of the professionals: services like www.thinkuknow.co.uk have plenty of support and advice for keeping your children safe online.
Lastly, heed the advice of the IT professionals. As accredited IT professionals and members of Norfolk Trusted Traders, we have resources, software tools, advice and services — all tailored to protect the PC and your children.
If you would like help, or know what services we offer to help protect your PC, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information
Think You Know – www.thinkuknow.co.uk
ITV “This Morning” – Crime week article