Simply, online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety or cyber safety. It covers all devices which have access to the internet from PCs, laptops to smartphones and tablets.

Being safe online means individuals are protecting themselves and others from online harms and risks which may jeopardise their personal information, lead to unsafe communications or even affect their mental health and wellbeing.

Living in the online world is something that most of us do without much thought, but we should stop and think of the potential dangers that our children are exposed to online.

Research from Common Sense Education shows that in 2019 this was the average daily screen usage of children in the USA. As we in South Africa are placed alongside the USA with regards to usage, a similar number will hold true for us. This is prior to the pandemic and these numbers are estimated to be exponentially higher today.

There are many dangers associated with being online for such lengthy times. Apart from the pervasive risks such as online bullying, grooming or device addiction, the way children are engaging with the online world requires us, as parents, to be more vigilant with regards to what they are viewing and posting, who they’re interacting with online as well as the effects on their mental health.

The number of social media platforms available means that we now need not to only monitor our children’s Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook accounts, but also the more pervasive platforms such as TikTok. Many parents are overwhelmed with the need to work, parent and be ultra involved in our children’s online world.

In order to eliminate the perils of social media usage, we at CyberSharp educate children and parents through our extensive school-based programme in a very positive manner on becoming responsible digital citizens. In addition, CyberSharp Protect available to families and businesses monitors cyber bullying, shaming, intolerance, drugs, violence, sexually explicit, profanity, detects harmful or illicit items such as weapons in images, and alerts for negative sentiment related to self-harm, depression and bullying. This takes any guesswork out of protecting your family’s digital safety.