On June 16th FOSI hosted a panel discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The briefing was convened to talk about research released by Intel Security on parenting in the digital age. The study entitled “The Realities of Cyber Parenting: What Pre-teens and Teens Are Up To Online” focused on online behaviors and social networking habits of pre-teens and teens aged between 8 and 16 years old, as well as looking at the concerns of parents.
Following welcoming remarks from Jennifer Hanley, FOSI and Robert Siciliano, an online safety expert from Intel Security the panel began discussing the key issues raised by the study. Moderated by Tim Sparapani, SPQR the panel featured experts from industry, parenting groups, online safety speakers and a teen voice.
Rolonda Donelson a rising senior at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC represented teenagers, outlining what she and her friends did online. In response to questions about positive and negative experience on the Internet, she said that over 90% of her friends reported having positive experiences online. However, areas of concern included reputation management and cyberbullying. She talked about the ways she ensured her privacy and security and how she had been taught about Internet safety in school.
Denise DeRosa of FOSI’s Good Digital Parenting (GDP) initiative highlighted the role of parents in ensuring safety online. She drew the audience’s attention to resources provided by GDP, as well as the importance of building a trusting and open relationship between teens and parents when it comes to what they are doing online. The different roles played by educators, parents, and industry in keeping kids safe was also explored. Antigone Davis of Facebook spoke about the way in which industry works to ensure kids have safe and enriching experiences on the Internet. She also reiterated the importance of having an ongoing conversation with children, starting at an early age to ensure their well being online.
Alicia Kozakiewicz told the audience about her experience having met someone in person that she had previously only met online, and consequently being kidnapped. The cautionary tale that she described reinforced the importance of talking to children about the dangers on the Internet. Robert Siciliano covered the ways in which online risks could be minimized, he said that they should not be completely ignored, but nor should the risks become the overwhelming focus of being online. Risks should be recognized and age-appropriate precautions taken. Meghan Leahy from the Washington Post discussed the application of offline parenting styles to children’s’ online lives and the importance of applying household rules to technology.
Importantly the many benefits of being online were emphasized by panelists, whilst at the same time providing advice to parents such as asking their children to show them what they are doing online and modeling good behavior as ways to stay safe on the Internet.
Rolonda Donelson closed the discussion in emphasizing, while talking about the importance of being an upstander not a bystander in bullying situations, that movements on social media start with one person doing the right thing, and that is what children should be taught.
More information on the research can be found here and any questions about the event can be sent to email@example.com