Privacy is a big thing these days. You hear about hacks and breaches every week that lead to personal data appearing for sale on the dark internet. The message from the various online safety groups is clear, “change your password”, “think before you post” etc. But what about the kids?
The internet is very clever, it’s great at joining little pieces of information together, joining the dots and figuring out who you are and what you like or may want at the moment. It’s worth billions of dollars to advertisers each year. It’s all linked and we are all blindly allowing this to happen. Your phone now reads your email to tell you when and how much your next power bill will be, Alexa will tell you when you run low on ink in your printer and if you google anything like “how much is my car worth”, be prepared for lots of “we buy cars” emails.
The internet also doesn’t take the age of the user into account. It can have a guess at a user’s age but it often gets it wrong. So, children are profiled as they surf in exactly the same way as adults.
This profiling is done with trackers. A tracker is a small piece of code hidden in a web page or app that reports little snippets of information back to their masters. Over time all these snippets start to form a picture of the user as they move between sites. A lot of the time trackers don’t know it’s Fred Blogs doing the surfing but they will figure out that the user looks like a 40 year old male who likes cars and buys pizza a lot.
This same logic is applied when a child is surfing but the profiles start to look like “young female, likes toys and the power rangers”. A lot of more reputable kids' sites no longer collect tracking data from kids, but a lot of the game sites are loaded with trackers and ads (often aimed at the parents).
The KidsSafetyNet Yellow Box blocks trackers and stops this from happening. This keeps your child’s digital footprint as small as possible and allows them to interact with the content and not the advertising.
A lot of internet safety products offer comprehensive reports of each child’s online behaviour or offer alerts on your mobile when a child tries to access a site they shouldn’t. At KidsSafetyNet, we provide a solution that doesn't try to replace the parents or act as some overbearing nanny that nags both the kids and you.
Comprehensive reports are a big privacy issue. If you get comprehensive reports on each child, the solution provider tracks and identifies each of your kids and then shows this data to you via their App or website. Which means that all this data about your kids is being sent somewhere on the internet that's outside of your home. Our approach is to just provide high quality filtering and simple tools to assist and not replace the parents. We can’t identify your children or their devices and don’t store any data relating to your kids in the Cloud.
The Alerts that some solutions provide when your child wanders off-track online is something else we don’t do. Our research over the years shows that while it’s a novelty to get the alerts to begin with, it can soon become annoying. Also, like the comprehensive reporting, this feature takes data about your children's online activities and sends it elsewhere on the internet.
We believe that building trust and giving a child boundaries is not something that technology can do alone. Use KidsSafetyNet to limit screen time for sure but have that conversation with your kids telling them why the internet gets turned off before dinner. Use KidsSafetyNet to keep them off social media but talk to them about the dangers of being on social media and why you blocked it in the first place.
KidsSafetyNet is all about giving parents simple and effective tools to help them introduce their children to the internet and keep them safe while they're there. We believe that a partnership between online parenting and suitable technology is the best overall solution that all of us can adopt!