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Tech Guru calls for online vigilance - Protect your family against cyber security attacks and toxic content during lockdown



Tech Guru calls for online vigilance to protect the mental health of Australian families during lockdown
Protect your family against cyber security attacks and toxic content

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lockdown millions of families across Australia, Mick Esber, tech guru with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, is urging parents to put in place a family technology plan. Avoid cyberbullying, toxic content, and overuse of unregulated social media platforms these school holidays by following a few simple steps.

A recent study commissioned by Esber revealed that 96% of Australians aged 18-56 are currently using Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, tiktok, twitter or snapchat with:
  • 3 out of 4 were most concerned about the security of their personal information.
  • Over half were also concerned about their data being sold.
  • 40% are worried about what their children are exposed to.
  • 39% were concerned about there being no laws about what can and can’t be shared.
  • 40% would even be happy to pay for access to a safe social media platform.
“We spend a lot of time on social media, even more so in school holidays and especially if you are under lockdown. It’s a well-known fact that cyberbullying has been linked to depression, anxiety, social isolation, and more recently suicide in teens.  Our increased usage and reliance on social media apps during the COVID pandemic have only exacerbated these problems, especially during lockdowns.

“The difference between traditional bullying and cyberbullying is that in the digital world people are usually anonymous and people feel trapped as a result. The current global social media platforms have tried to address this, but all the solutions have been reactive in nature to date.  Most people don’t seek support, and research suggests 71% of young people don’t think social media platforms do enough to prevent cyberbullying. We need to change this!” said Esber.

Mick Esber’s top five tips to keep families cyber safe during the current lockdown include:
  1. Create a family technology plan and stick to it. Limit social media and app usage to one hour per day at set times.
  2. Ensure all parental controls are in place and updated, so you can see the content your children are viewing at all times.
  3. Update all passwords using a reputable password manager to avoid being hacked, making sure you don’t use generic passwords.
  4. Talk to your children about what they are viewing, explain the risks and be involved to ensure they aren’t developing unrealistic expectations of life and reality.
  5. Educate yourself on what toxic content is and how it can impact your children now and later in life. 

About Mick Esber:
Mick Esber is an expert technology leader with over 20 year’s experience working with start-ups and fast-moving tech organisations. To date his career has seen him work across Fintech, Health, Gaming and Defence and now social media. As a contributing member of ISACA and IEEE, Mick is a thought leader and industry innovator. His entrepreneurial experience as a tech start-up founder and passion for solving real-world problems is the driving force behind his current Web 3.0 projects, building networks, protocols, and digital apps. His passion for exploiting technology to enable business transformation and new ways of working, are the driving force behind the creation of bhapi – a leading safe social media network for families and kids which is scheduled for launch in September this year, with a Kickstarter campaign launching on the 1st July 2021 to get the platform up and running. www.bhapi.io