As technology becomes ubiquitous in schools and homes, the issue of making sure children are safe online has taken on increased importance.
Recent studies have shown that Australian kids are spending 20% of their time using screens during the week and 30% on weekends. However, with the frequent use of social media also comes frequent exposure to risks.
These risks include cyberbullying, predatory behaviour by adults and even attempts by extremists to recruit vulnerable youth.
Recognising this, an innovative cybersafety tool is reimagining how families use the internet to keep children safe while they’re browsing online.
Available in Australia for the first time, Circle with Disney lets parents manage screen time and filter content for all connected devices in the home in a unique and positive way.
Managed through a companion iOS or Android app, the device helps parents to stay informed about children's online activities and manage screen time in the home, including smart phones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles.
Circle with Disney pairs with home Wi-Fi and provides the ability to filter content, set a bedtime for devices, and even completely ‘pause’ the internet.
Each child’s profile and settings can be customised based on age and parents’ preferences.
Leading Australian cybersafety specialist CyberHound was approached by US-based Circle Media Labs to introduce the product to the local market.
CyberHound CEO, John Fison, said the advice extends to managing internet use on laptops as well as phones.
“Peak education bodies and principals we work with have told us there is a real need for quality home-based cybersafety and controls,” Fison told The Educator.
“CyberHound is addressing this need with the innovative Circle with Disney home cybersafety device. Circle with Disney ensures every device accessing a home network is reliably managed.”
Time limits for all access to the internet, or specific apps and websites, can be set as well as having a bedtime shut off or pause mode.
Simple to set content filters can be individually applied. Rewards can even be provided for good behaviour.
Fison said CyberHound provides protection for students while at school and on school devices, while Circle with Disney works to protect children at home and on private devices.
“Schools have been delighted by the ease of use and reliability of the solution and principals are relieved to be able to introduce this to parents to assist them at home,” he said.
“Ensuring students get uninterrupted sleep and remain safe online is vital to their overall school performance.”
Fison added that some schools are looking at this as a means to manage personal devices in their boarding houses as well.