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Tools and Tips to Keep Our Families Safe Online

In 2017, 92 percent of Americans used the internet, with 77 percent of us going online every day. We’re no longer just connected at work. We’re connected at home, in our car and when we walk down the street. Our kids are also connected. A recent Pew study found that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, with 45 percent saying they are online ‘almost constantly.’


The increased use of smartphones, social media and connected toys comes with increased vulnerability. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and Symantec is proud to support the National Cyber Security Alliance as a 2018 Champion. This annual awareness campaign encourages individuals and businesses to take action towards protecting themselves from cyber threats. This week we’re focusing on making our homes safe internet havens and keeping our families protected.

Supporting parents to lead the way

Symantec nonprofit partner ConnectSafely is on a mission to help users get the most from their technology while managing the risks. As the leader of Safer Internet Day, the nonprofit provides internet safety tips ranging from safe passwords and how to avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi at the mall, to advice on sextortion and revenge porn.

Maureen is encouraged by the tech companies joining with NGOs and advocates to provide parents with resources for digital safety. She points to Instagram’s new parent guide as an example, which includes guidelines for responsible sharing and tools for parents to understand and manage how much time teens spend on the app. For apps and services without their own guides, Connect Safely provides parents and educators with numerous resources (yes, there is even a parent guide for Roblox!).

Symantec also partners with National PTA to give parents and caregivers resources to help children learn to use the internet safely and responsibly while supporting their education. LifeLock, a Symantec company, worked with National PTA to create The Smart Talk, an online tool that helps parents empower their children to become smart digital citizens. The Smart Talk walks families through a series of guided questions to establish a digital safety conversation, which then creates a personalized agreement based on their answers. Once their agreement is complete, families can print it off, sign it and hang it on the fridge so everyone remembers the ground rules. 


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