As a parent, two things are priority on my worry list- the pollution menace and the cyber world. While my son wears the anti-pollution mask outside of the house, there is little I can do to protect him from the dangers that lurk inside the cyber world. Or so I thought, before The Insider met likeminded mums, bloggers and the experts at a recent event at Kidzania in collaboration with Microsoft India. 
A mum to a Pre-teen who isn’t into gadgets at all, would rather curl up with a book in a corner, than surf the net, I don’t see this as a major problem right now, however, no discounting that this can happen sometime soon, very soon. Here are five ways to protect your child from the from the ills of the cyber world. 

Son and I – On a heritage exploration!

Get off the gadget yourself!

Parents, in the  garb of being a parent blogger, happily share screen space on their Instagram and snapchat handles, trying out new faces filters with glee! Constantly making odd faces, and admiring them. No one is asking you to obliterate the existence of devices from your or her life, however, it is best to leave this exposure for later. Let’s not normalise this reality, too early in their lives!

Listen to what the doc says! 

Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Sr. Psychiatrist, Paras Hospitals had this to say at the event, listen up or lose out! “It is important that while we draw benefit from the immense potential of new technologies, we must also make use of all the security features available to make it a safe and pleasant experience.” We couldn’t  have agreed more!

Know your Tech- Make it Safe!
Use the Microsoft Family Safety features and Windows 10 Parental Controls that can safeguard children in the cyber world. If using any other software, ensure that you don’t share the admin authority with the child. 

Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Sr. Psychiatrist, Paras Hospitals, Alok Lall, Partner Technology Lead, Microsoft India and Viraj Jit Singh, Chief Marketing Officer, Kidzania India at the Microsoft and Kidzania cyber physical safety event

Alok Lall, Partner Technology Lead, Microsoft India, post a detailed explanation of how to negotiate  parental controls on the software shared that there is no reason why we should become technophobic. He added that when a child is exposed to technology in a safe environment, it can be beneficial without a doubt. He spelled it out for us, However, most parents are rightly worried about some of the content their children may be exposed to on the web and want to keep them safe online. As a parent myself, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the Microsoft Family features within Windows 10 to create a secure online environment.”
Hold the School Accountable too!
With new found ideas in education, such as using technology, videos, audio files and recording facilities to teach the child in a learner centric manner being all the rage in schools of today, it’s not enough to leave it to the child to use technology and pretend that he has learnt all that there is on the screen. Teachers need to be equipped with the judicious use of technology to teach efficiently. You should not increase their screen dependence and encourage an irrational use of the Internet, to show, a technologically advanced education system. Asking the school, checking if the manner in which technology is being used is appropriate, is what to me being a ‘smart’ parent entails. 
Beyond a ‘Smart’ Class
All the best to us for bringing up a child in the cyber cognizant world of today. May the force be with us! 
Note: To protect children from inappropriate content and secure the system from malware, Windows 10 Fall Creators Update has introduced new features in the Windows Defender Security Center that provide easy access to and integration with Parental Controls. Microsoft Family allows parents to insulate their children from inappropriate content strewn across the web. When parents add their child to the Microsoft Family and turn on activity reporting, they get weekly activity report emails that show a summary of their activity, including websites visited, games and apps used, terms searched for on search engines like Bing and how much screen time they had, even if they have logged in from a friend’s house or any other screen.
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