To mark Safer Internet Day 2015, TrustedReviews spoke to Tony Anscombe, AVG’s ambassador of free products, to learn about some of the biggest cyber issues facing parents today.
He says his biggest current concern with parental attitudes to online safety is complacency. “A lot of parents have the view that their child does nothing wrong. I know as a parent that my child does nothing wrong. The problem is everybody else’s child.
“I think that’s one of the most concerning issues there is because what that means is you sit back and you don’t maybe think about all of the things that you should be doing or putting good behaviours into the child’s mind.
“Children are wonderful but they’re designed to test boundaries. If your kids aren’t testing the boundaries, they’re not having their childhood.”
Worryingly, Anscombe believes that this problem may be bigger in the UK than it is elsewhere in the world, due to the government’s introduction of Active Choice, where households can choose to filter inappropriate materials.
“I’m a supporter of Active Choice but, as a parent, it’s easy to think ‘the government’s got that, it’s covered’,” he continued. “Internet security is a lot wider than just blocking inappropriate websites.”
However, Anscombe believes that Active Choice has also had a positive impact on the way we view security issues.
“Safer Internet Day in my personal view is an awareness day,” he said. “I think if you look at the message each year it doesn’t actually change hugely. But actually getting the topic in the media and in people’s minds is what the day is actually about.
“I think that the UK as a whole does a pretty good job of that throughout the year as well. Some of the things the government has done with Active Choice have made kids safe online a big topic.”
Following Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s recent admission that the micro-blogging site “sucks at dealing with abuse and trolls”, Anscombe expects cyber bullying and ethical behaviour to feature heavily this time around.
Anscombe also gave us his top tips for ensuring your children stay safe online, which you can read via the link above.