Peter Andre says keeping kids safe online is more important than ever this winter, as internet use amongst teenagers’ surges because of lockdown.

  • As a father of four, Peter Andre knows first-hand how important it is to speak to your children about their internet use.
  • Peter says: “We, as parents, have to find the balance between looking over children’s shoulders constantly and allowing them freedom”
  • Cyberbullying is on the rise due to COVID-19 isolation and social distancing, as children spend more time indoors and on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

As lockdown restrictions sweep UK, cybersecurity specialists Panda Security, is teaming up with Peter Andre on a campaign to keep children safe online this Winter.

Peter is passionate about communicating ways to safeguard kids online, particularly from the dangers of trolling and cyberbullying. The campaign seeks to enable parents to better protect their children from cyber threats, as well as educate them about the dangers that come with children having an online presence.

Having experienced bullying himself as a kid, Peter says:

We, as parents, have to find the balance between looking over children’s shoulders constantly and allowing them freedom.”

Obviously online bullying was not something we had to worry about as kids but is rife in the day to day lives of a new generation.

Having online security that protects our children is a way for us to be responsible parents protecting them without being too strict but giving them space at the same time.

At Panda Security, we know that the challenge of balancing parental duties and working from home have increased considerably because of lockdown restrictions.

We also know protecting your kids from online dangers is increasingly difficult; access to inappropriate content is now not the only threat parents need to worry about, mobile addiction and unauthorized online purchases are also increasingly common.

Furthermore, the prevalent and serious issue of cyberbullying amongst young people has been on the rise, even before the pandemic struck. In the UK, 20% of young people between the ages of 12-20 were bullied online in 2019.

COVID-19 isolation and social distancing have pushed these already alarming numbers higher than ever before. According to L1ght, an organization that monitors online harassment and hate speech, there has been a 70% increase in cyberbullying during lockdown.

Top tips for keeping your kids safe online

As the nights draw in and with lockdown restrictions meaning more time spent indoors, Panda Security is looking to raise awareness about the importance of keeping children safe online.

Hervé Lambert, Global Consumer Operations Manager at Panda Security shares some top tips to parents:

  1. Talk to your children: As your lids are going to be indoors a lot more this winter, it’s more important than ever to talk to them about their online presence. What websites do they usually visit? Do they have any social media profiles? Are they being trolled? Understanding their online footprint will put you in a better position to help them if they run into trouble.
  2. Remind them of ‘Stranger Danger’: Speak to your children about safe internet use; remind them of ‘Stranger Danger’ and warn them not to send anyone private information, pictures, or videos.
  3. Install parental controls: These can help reduce the risk of children viewing inappropriate content on the web. They can be used for a whole manner of things such as controlling or blocking access to video games; limiting what children can search online; managing access to social media sites; and requiring parental authorisation to make online purchases.
  4. Maintain trust: When you install controls for the first time, you may find your kids think you are just out to spoil their fun and you could lose their trust, making it harder to spot signs of trouble. Maintain a dialogue and explain why you have set these rules, while putting in time to review them at a later date.
  5. Remember to be flexible: As your children’s habits change, so will their online behaviour, meaning your approach will have to change too. While tools like parental controls are crucial in the case of younger children, with teenagers, parents need to connect and encourage their them to be open about their online activity.

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