Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Kiwi social media platform to keep kids safer online  

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Mobile Guardians founder and chief parent officer Sarah Kavanagh.

How do you know your child will be safe when using social media?

Howick-based digital experts Sense Data have the solution for parents who don’t know where to start.

They have launched Mobile Guardians, a social media education platform for parents to empower them with the knowledge and tools they need.

It includes everything from social media health checks through to password and device security.

The idea is to educate parents in such a way that their children can be confident of asking for help if they come across inappropriate content or find themselves in unwanted situations online.

With almost 90 per cent of Kiwis being active social media users, Mobile Guardians founder Sarah Kavanagh says it will provide a much-needed, one-of-a-kind service for parents, and young people alike, in Aotearoa New Zealand.

“We want to help young people understand these platforms better so they are using them safely and are able to enjoy the human connections social media brings, without the unwanted negative side effects,” says Kavanagh.

“We don’t think banning social platforms is the answer, as young people always find a way.

“Our education platform is a positive step towards helping parents support young people on their devices and on social media.

“We know we have a lot of work to do to help the next generation find better balance between devices and their mental health, and Mobile Guardians has big plans to be this catalyst for change.”

Mobile Guardians’ first parent course, Social 101, includes social media health checks for TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp.

It helps parents understand how kids are using these platforms, the pitfalls and how to use the safety features.

Parents can find out the meanings of emojis, understand acronyms that teens and tweens are using and get help with the practical side of setting up kids’ devices.

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