Image Credit: Supplied

Modern parenting is a multifaceted challenge that requires vigilance to protect children from both dangers in the physical world and the less visible but equally significant threats in the digital world. Unlike previous generations, today's children are increasingly screen-centric and often spend a large part of their day on digital devices. A global survey involving parents from various regions, including the UAE, found that 70 percent of children spend at least three hours a day on their devices. Alarmingly, this digital immersion often starts at a very early age, with many children getting their first device before the age of five.

Dr Saliha Afridi, clinical psychologist and parenting expert

Dr Saliha Afridi, a clinical psychologist and parenting expert, emphasizes the importance of parental guidance in this new digital landscape. "Early introduction to digital devices poses both benefits and risks. It's crucial for parents to guide their children's digital interactions and set appropriate boundaries," she says. "Teaching children how to interact with the digital world should be as fundamental as teaching them how to cross the road. It's about creating an environment of trust and learning where children feel comfortable talking about their online experiences and where parents are able to guide them through the digital landscape."

Navigating the digital world, whether for gaming, video consumption or educational purposes, harbors a multitude of potential dangers. The risks range from developing addictive gaming behavior or compulsively scrolling through social media and YouTube to inadvertently sharing personal information with people they don't know. Children are also particularly vulnerable to online grooming and exposure to content that is not appropriate for their age. This landscape of digital dangers highlights the need for vigilant monitoring and proactive measures to safeguard young users in the ever-evolving online environment.

Image Credit: Supplied

Parents are rightly concerned about the impact of too much screen time on their children’s emotional health, social development, privacy and security. Fortunately, most of them understand the need to monitor and manage their children’s digital behavior and are looking for comprehensive digital safety solutions to protect their children online. This is where Kaspersky Premium comes in.

“Such solutions, in particular the Kaspersky Safe Kids app included in Kaspersky Premium, add a layer of extra protection and maintain a healthy balance between technology and children’s real-life activities,” explains Seifallah Jedidi, Head of Consumer Channel at Kaspersky.

Seifallah Jedidi, Head of Consumer Channel at Kaspersky

In the digital age, parents must not only protect their children from online threats, but also encourage healthy digital habits. The Kaspersky study shows that 54% of parents are trying to establish these habits for their entire family by encouraging responsible and moderate screen use. At the same time, 96% of parents are introducing some form of usage restrictions for their children, mainly to safeguard them from inappropriate content in the digital world. The user-friendly Kaspersky app is a valuable tool for digital parenting. It offers features that monitor device usage behavior, filter content and help balance screen time, making it an effective ally in tackling the complexities of digital parenting.

Dr. Afridi highlights the significance of parental involvement, noting, “In today’s interconnected world, it’s vital for children to have safe digital spaces for exploration and learning. Parents' guidance in setting clear boundaries and understanding digital responsibilities is key to fostering a secure online environment for their children.”

"Kaspersky provides all the help you need to look after your children in the digital world and beyond,” says Seifallah Jedidi, Head of Consumer Channel at Kaspersky. “It protects your children from harmful content, lets you track their whereabouts and online habits, and gives you tools to educate them on balanced online-offline behaviour.”

Image Credit: Supplied

Effective digital parenting is based on open dialog, especially when it comes to internet use. More than half of parents talk to their children about how they use the Internet. They know how important it is to build trust within the family and to encourage a mindful approach to the internet from a young age. To facilitate this, many parents choose to monitor their children's device use directly or use special apps for digital education. Kaspersky Premium improves parental control and offers advanced solutions for monitoring, protecting and educating children in the digital age. This approach not only increases safety, but also gives children the knowledge and tools they need to use the Internet responsibly.

Dr. Afridi further supports this, stating, "Facilitating open discussions about internet use is crucial. Such conversations help parents educate their children about the online world, fostering a trusting environment where kids feel at ease to discuss their digital interactions."

Image Credit: Supplied

The Kaspersky Premium app simplifies screen time management and allows parents to assign daily usage times for their children's devices. This helps to find a healthy balance between digital and real-life activities. The app's YouTube protection is complemented by web filters that block access to inappropriate online content. Detailed reports on internet and YouTube usage provide insight into children’s interests and encourage open discussions about the impact of certain digital behaviors and the importance of setting limits.

The Kaspersky Premium app also allows parents to categorize and schedule app usage. For added safety, there is a child tracking feature where their location is monitored via GPS. Parents can also set a 'safe area' and be notified immediately if their children leave this area. These features provide a comprehensive approach to digital parenting that combines monitoring and open communication.

Image Credit: Supplied

In order to ensure that children develop healthy digital habits, a proactive and conscious approach from parents is required. It is important that parents lead by example by minimizing their own screen time while guiding and reinforcing positive digital practices for their children. Above all, it is important to maintain open communication so that children feel comfortable talking about their digital experiences and challenges.

Just as in the real world, children should feel safe asking their parents for advice and support in the digital world. It is important to create a trusting environment where children know that their concerns will be met with empathy and understanding. When this approach is combined with robust security solutions, parents can be confident that they are raising well-educated, digitally savvy individuals who are both safe and responsible online.