Twenty-first Century fairytales – Get Safe Online

Twenty-first Century fairytales – Get Safe Online

Last week we were invited by Norton to London’s House of Illustration, to find out more about keeping the family safe online.

Norton, together with Neighbourhood Watch, CEOP and Get Safe Online, are running a campaign to raise parents’ awareness about the risks their families face when they go online. And, at ’21st Century Fairytales’, we were treated to a morning of dressing-up, storytelling, and the opportunity to talk to the people heading up this campaign.

Norton Fairytales

Who’s afraid of the big bad….phisher?

I spoke with Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, who told me about his 18-month-old grandaughter. She was watching Peppa Pig on her Mum’s phone; when the show had finished she managed to switch to YouTube, and started downloading videos. Luckily, I don’t think she got beyond people twerking along to ‘Happy’, but the lesson was clear: teenies can go from Peppa to porn in just a few clicks, if the right parental controls aren’t in place.

Get Safe Online have produced an online guide for parents of the new tech-savvy generation. As well as switching on parental controls, it advises people to make sure their children close browsers when they’ve finished, and to supervise their time online.

Norton Fairytales

Never share your passwords….and make sure your children don’t, either

And there are some broader tips, too. Norton stresses that ‘you’re only as secure as your password’. Make sure it’s strong, with at least eight characters, and not something that would be easy to guess. A different password should be used for every account, and your email password should never be used anywhere else. According to Norton, it’s just as important to protect your mobile devices from cybercriminals as your laptops and PCs. After all, many of us store our lives in those tiny hand-held devices.

Kids know their stuff when it comes to online entertainment and networking. But they still need guidance; the NSPCC’s ShareAware campaign includes a cartoon clip showing one boy who posts a picture of his friend’s willy online, which then goes viral….before he knows it, he’s a target for bullies and a paedophile, and made a laughing stock at school. Parents, too, should be careful about how much of their children’s lives they share online. In this article for, I write that what may seem charming to doting parents, could be downright embarrassing for youngsters of school age.

As my children splashed around in the fountains of Granary Square, I was left with plenty of food for thought. Tony Neate had pointed out that, in thirty years’ time, we won’t be having these conversations; the new generation of children, who use technology even before they can talk, will have grown up facing and tackling the hazards those technologies pose. But, in the meantime, it’s good to know there’s a bit of advice on hand for those of us who are paddling to catch up.

Granary Square

To find out more, visit and click the ‘Be a switched on parent’ button.

I was given a copy of Norton’s antivirus software after attending Twenty-first Century fairytales. All views expressed are my own.


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  1. February 23, 2015 / 9:18 am

    This sounds like a great event with some really important information too.

  2. February 23, 2015 / 11:19 am

    having a teen and a pre schooler i have to say we need to be more savvy with ours .. it terrifies me but not knowing where to start is the biggest stumbling block. Thanks for highlighting x

  3. February 23, 2015 / 3:19 pm

    Thanks for the advice, it is all very scary and everything moves so quickly it is hard to keep up. All of my children are very tech savvy and thanks for reminding me of what I should be doing to protect us even more.

  4. February 23, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Some goods points there. It’s scary how tech savvy kids are these days.

  5. February 23, 2015 / 5:55 pm

    Children are quick to learn how to do anything especially where technology is related – quite scary really

  6. February 23, 2015 / 10:31 pm

    I need to be more aware caught my son watching a horror thing through watching a video on youtube its scary really

  7. Michelle
    February 24, 2015 / 9:48 am

    It sounds like a really interesting and informative event, you’ve raised some really good points xxx

  8. February 24, 2015 / 11:34 am

    sounds like an interesteing event, online saftey is so importnatn

  9. February 24, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    Sounds like this was a really helpful event as well as interesting.

  10. February 24, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    What a great event. I was only talking about this last night and what a different world our children are growing up in. It does really worry me – online safety is SO important.

  11. February 24, 2015 / 3:10 pm

    Great post. My kids are more tech savvy than me and I’ve had to have serious chats with them and they are not allowed any social media that I don’t have full access to as well.

  12. February 24, 2015 / 7:44 pm

    oh you should see my 2 year old handling my phone . kids are learning fast and we need to protect them.

  13. February 25, 2015 / 1:10 pm

    Its really scary how quickly they can find unsuitable material online

  14. February 25, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    This is something that concerns me having a tween.

  15. February 25, 2015 / 8:03 pm

    It is actually really scary what same people believe in when it comes to online world… so many people don’t have a clue how to be safe online 🙁

  16. March 1, 2015 / 10:28 pm

    I have a 16 yr old and even though I presume he’s sensible online, he’s still young and probably doesn’t think things through so it’s still necessary to keep reiterating on the dangers. I worry about my younger ones

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