Online security for kids: Damaris and Melissa Gatt’s tips

21 August 2023


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The digital world has become an integral part of our lives and children are no exception. As the internet offers numerous opportunities for learning and exploration, it also poses potential risks to the safety and security of our young ones.

To shed light on this crucial matter, we’ve interviewed Damaris and Melissa Gatt who have children actively navigating the internet’s vast seas. Let’s explore together the measures they’ve implemented to safeguard their children in this digital age so that they can continue exploring and learning.

What kinds of online activities do your children engage in regularly and do you actively participate in those activities with them?

D: My children enjoy playing lots of games online, especially learning games that I download for them. I actively participate in these activities, and we play along together, which allows me to stay involved in their online experiences.

M.G.: Our daughter Savannah enjoys educational games and occasional use of YouTube Kids on her iPad. We actively participate and monitor her online activities to ensure safety.

Can you share with us your understanding of online security as it pertains to children?

D: Online security is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to our children. While the internet offers many valuable resources, it can also pose risks, such as exposure to scammers or inappropriate content. As a parent, my primary concern is to ensure that my children are protected from these dangers.

M.G.: Online security for children is crucial in protecting them from potential risks like cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators.

In your opinion, what are the most important aspects of online safety for kids?

D: I believe that blocking cybercrime and inappropriate content is crucial for safeguarding children online. As a parent, it worries me when my kids venture into unknown territories on the internet, and I feel much safer when potential risks are blocked proactively through security measures like GO Secure Net.

M.G.: The most important aspects of online safety for kids include parental supervision, setting age-appropriate content filters, and discussing internet safety regularly.

Have there been any instances where your child has encountered issues related to online security such as hacking, cyberbullying or inappropriate content?

D: Unfortunately, yes. There was an incident where my child encountered an inappropriate pop-up while browsing a website.

M.G.: Thankfully, Savannah hasn’t encountered any online security issues so far.

How did your child react to such an experience and how did you address the situation as a family?

D: When that incident occurred, we decided to immediately restrict access from any device and opted for GO’s Secure Net. This decision brought us peace of mind, knowing that our children would be protected from such experiences in the future.

M.G.: Fortunately, we haven’t had any negative experiences. Our proactive approach to online safety may have contributed to this.

A mother and her child sitting on the sofa looking at a tablet

Did this experience influence your approach to online security and what changes did you implement after the incidents?

D: Absolutely, the incident left us in a panic as we didn’t know where to start. After conducting some research, we discovered GO Secure Net, which became an essential tool in our approach to online security. Now our family feels much safer.

M.G.: Even without negative experiences, we remain vigilant and committed to keeping her safe online. We use Secure Net to monitor her internet activity and provide an extra layer of protection against online threats.

How do you educate your child about the potential risks of internet usage and the importance of online security?

D: We use analogies to explain the importance of online safety. Just like we teach them about handling a knife responsibly or using a car safely, we also emphasize the need to trust their instincts and avoid anything that feels wrong or suspicious while using the internet.

M.G.: We educate Savannah about potential internet risks through age-appropriate conversations, emphasizing responsible online behaviour.

Is there a specific piece of advice you’ve found particularly useful that you would like to share with other parents?

D: While it’s important to encourage independence, especially as children grow older, providing guidance and not reacting with anger when they encounter something inappropriate is essential. Instead, have open conversations, build trust, and be vigilant by checking what they are using, especially with young kids.

M.G.: One useful piece of advice for other parents is to maintain open communication with your child about their online experiences and be involved in their digital life.

How do you stay updated about the latest online risks and trends to ensure your child’s safety in this rapidly evolving digital landscape?

D: Staying updated about online risks and trends can be challenging, but I make an effort to conduct research and also stay in contact with other parents. This way, I can share experiences and learn from their insights as well.

M.G.: We stay updated about online risks and trends by following reputable online safety resources and staying active in parenting communities.

Finally, how do you balance between ensuring your child’s online safety and allowing them the freedom to explore the internet?

D: Finding a balance is crucial for us. While we want our children to explore the internet and learn from it, we also recognize the importance of their safety. GO Secure Net has played a significant role in providing that balance by allowing them to explore within a secure environment. With this service, we can grant them the freedom they need while ensuring they are protected online.

M.G.: Balancing online safety and freedom involves setting boundaries, gradually increasing independence, and fostering trust through open communication.

A boy using his laptop with father in the background on his mobile

How to protect your children from online threats with Secure Net

Secure Net is designed to provide increased safety and protection whether on your home internet connection or your mobile data by automatically identifying and blocking fraudulent websites, phishing and malware attempts, as well as viruses. At the same time, through parental controls, parents can block access to websites that may contain unsuitable content for their children. In fact, in the past month alone, Secure Net has blocked over 44 million malicious websites, phishing attacks, malware infections, viruses and other type of similar threats, while over 69 million inappropriate, unsuitable and harmful content was blocked from reaching children through.

Secure Net can be added to your existing internet connection or your pay monthly mobile plan for just €0.99/month and as an added bonus, we’ll give you the first 3 months for free.

Find out more about Secure Net and how it can protect you.

For more online security tips and tricks, have a look at this guide on how to keep your personal data safe and discover all about phishing, malware and viruses, how to avoid them.