ESET launches its Safer Kids Online platform: Keeping children around the world secure in the digital sphere

ESET is proud to announce its latest venture into the world of cybersecurity, in the form of a new resource site, Safer Kids Online. The platform, dedicated to enabling children to enjoy the full potential of the internet in a secure digital world, is launching these days and aims to make the internet safer for children around the world.

Safer Kids Online is a global initiative that includes targeted resources for children, parents and schools - all of which have been created in consultation with cybersecurity experts and a notable child psychologist. The mission is to improve awareness and understanding around children’s online safety, and to ultimately build a safer online environment, by educating kids, as well as their parents and teachers, about child cybersecurity.

While surfing the net may seem relatively harmless, the truth is that children and young people can be exposed to content and situations they are not prepared for. A 2018 report revealed that a quarter of parents said they were worried about their children disclosing details to inappropriate people online, and another 23% were concerned about cyberbullying. Yet, while they may harbor worries, parents don’t always have enough awareness of the risks their children could be facing, or the signs of what to look out for when something is going wrong. Safer Kids Online is set to change that with a plethora of resources, all packaged together in an entertaining and inspiring way.

Exploring a host of issues in the form of monthly topics, the Safer Kids Online website will include targeted resources suitable for younger children, teenagers and their parents - a three-pronged approach that aims to ensure greater societal awareness. Each month will focus on a new topic, ranging from cyberbullying to protecting children from online predators, and will include a video series for kids aged 8-11, comics for older children aged 11+ and a more in-depth explanation of the issues for parents and schools through expert articles and vlogs.

Some of the confirmed monthly topics include selfies, and the potential risks around revealing sensitive information when sharing photos online, as well as the risks of children becoming online addicts and losing touch with the real world. Other topics will provide advice on what children, as well as adults, need to be wary of when surfing the internet and downloading materials that may be bundled with harmful malware. Safer Kids Online will also tackle the topic of “haters gonna hate,” focusing on how to stay away from haters and online trolls.

The program will also include monthly quizzes and prize contests to keep kids entertained, as well as regular newsletters on key issues to help parents navigate the latest news on how to stay safe in the online world. All these materials can also be used in schools alongside the specific school resources that focus on topics such as social networks, online games and antivirus and malware protection.

While it is ultimately about increased awareness, Safer Kids Online will also provide more technical support in the form of advice on how software can help to keep children secure. For example, ESET Parental Control for Android includes the possibility of controlling inappropriate web content and managing the amount of time children spend on certain devices, while also analyzing the suitability of the applications they’re using.

The online world represents potentially endless opportunity; but there are risks associated with the digital sphere, and Safer Kids Online will provide a go-to educational resource for families and schools around the world. We can’t buy peace of mind, or make all the bad guys go away, but we can educate ourselves in the face of some of the risks confronting us - and ESET’s latest venture is set to help families around the world do just that.