Gooseberry Planet Hits the Press

Online safety is becoming a big topic in todays world. Local newspapers are picking up on the story of Stella James and her journey to solve a problem of helping teach her own children about being safe online.


Stella James

Internet Safety for Kids


Protect Your Teens From These 3 Digital Dangers

All good parents have a parental instinct to protect their children. This instinct no longer extends only to the real world, but to the online world as well. Mobile and Internet child safety has become as important if not more important than typical safety measures. Here are a few common Internet safety dangers that parents and teens should approach with caution.
1. Chat Rooms
One of the areas where children can be targeted is on chat rooms. The ability to remain anonymous makes these rooms a prime area to attack from predators. This is not to say that everyone who uses a chat room is a predator, but it does mean that this is one area where they are often attracted.
Children need to be taught to leave a conversation whenever they feel uncomfortable or that something inappropriate has happened. They should block the individual who has made inappropriate comments towards them and should report that profile as well.
2. Online shopping
Children are not going to face the same risks with online shopping, as they do with social media or chat rooms. Instead, the biggest risk here is the loss of financial information such as credit card numbers and the like. Children need to be made aware of the dangers that present themselves when trying to make a purchase online.
3. Social Media: Age Requirements and Oversharing
Most children are going to want to set up social media profiles of any kind. Though the age requirement on most of these sites is 13, this age limit is not enforced by the sites themselves. Parents must decide what they will do in terms of allowing their children to use social media. It is important to let children understand what they should and should not share on social media, as oversharing can lead to a number of dangerous situations.
Good To Post:
  • Updates about life
  • Pictures from your day
Not Good To Post:
  • Vacation plans
  • Gossip or rumours
  • Offensive or racial remarks or comments
  • Personally identifying information

5 Ways To Stay Secure

5 Ways To Stay Secure on Public Wi-Fi Networks

Free public Wi-Fi can be compared to free public bathrooms. While a wireless hot spot may be very appealing, particularly when you are out and about without a data connection, you must remember to use caution just as you would no matter how desperate you might need to access a public bathroom.
It might be a good idea to review some important tips with your family members, including children who are heading off to school or doing any sort of travelling. Anyone using a laptop, smart phone or tablet needs to be aware of some of the dangers lurking out there, so it is important to use some safety tips in order to choose a network wisely.
Make certain that the network you connect to is legitimate, not just a facade for someone who wants to intercept your data. How can you be sure it’s legit?
  1. If you are out in public, such as in a restaurant, coffee shop or even at the public library, verify the name of the network they are offering for free. Many places post the name of the network on signs, or ask a staff member to be sure. There are bad guys out there who will establish a network called “Free Wi-Fi” or incorporate the name of a nearby business to the locations that you are visiting to deceive people into believing it is legitimate.
  2. Make certain that your device is set up to practice safe surfing. Turn off file sharing when connecting to a public network using the settings options for your device.
  3. Always check for HTTPS when you are browsing. That little lock in your browser can help make sure it is secure. It is possible to obtain an app, or an extension that will force your browser to only use HTTPS.
  4. Keep up to date. Stick to good patching habits to make certain that your browser and Internet connected device are current with the latest versions to ensure your safety.
  5. One word of caution: never perform or accept updates on public Wi-Fi. Remember, there are bad guys out there who can prompt your device to update a software package that will install malware on your device if you accept the update. Only enable updates on trusted networks either at work or at home.