"Hey Alexa, Where do babies come from?" That was the question that stopped me in my tracks. As the milliseconds ticked by, the mama bear in me overtook and slightly overreacted. I began screaming, yelling, making as much noise as I possibly could to make sure my children did not here the response. Alexa replied, "Babies come from the human repro-". I unplugged her before she got further, but that was only the beginning.
Immediately my child started crying, thinking they were in trouble. On the contrary, I took them in my arms, held them tightly, and explained my crazy reaction. I want every parent to know this about so-called SMART devices. They're anything but smart. They're still primitive in their development, use and we won't touch their main security flaws. We are well on our way to the Star Trek gadgets and tech advancements shown in the saga. Yet, we are still lightyears away from our SMART devices being as capable as those...
Are you familiar with the term cyber flash? It’s mooning someone in a digital space. Parents are seeing this as something new that kids are doing, but as a security expert I can tell you it’s been around for a long time. Pretty much since sending images became a thing. So what can you do to stop your kids from seeing it? And how does it even happen?
One idea I can come up with is that it's fun to see people's reactions. Remember our kids don’t have fully developed brains until long...
One of the biggest questions parents ask in my field of work is "How do I know if my child is talking to a predator? How can I know if they're talking to someone dangerous online?" Law enforcement agencies and experienced parents will teach you that monitoring their tech devices is the only way to know. However, I'm of the approach that a good offense is useless without a good defense. Monitoring your child's devices only goes so far. These are the essential skills parents and children both need to protect themselves from digital online strangers right now.
Do you even know what an online stranger looks like? How do they act? Where do they hang out? The honest truth is you CAN'T know someone isn't who they say they are just by looking at their profile. It's why law enforcement agencies host sting, spy and covert operations to catch the bad guys.
We must define a digital stranger in black and white for our kids like this:
Raising kids in a digital world doesn't have to be difficult. Learn the tools you need to enhance your power over technology so you can do what you do best: Be There For Them.