REVIEW: Parent Alert! How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online

The importance of online safety simply cannot be over-emphasised; however much we may think we know, there is always more to be learnt in order to keep our children safe. This comprehensive book is a real eye-opener with its thorough coverage of all aspects of the subject. Nadia Sawalha, Kaye Adams and Will Geddes (an international security expert) were inspired to write this book following the huge success of their video about SnapChat. Cybercrime, sexting, cyberbullying, phishing, cyberstalking, grooming, nude selfies – just some of the dangers facing not only our children, but all of us.

As you’d expect from a DK book, it is practical and straightforward to use, with succinct facts, personal experiences, rules and guidelines all complementing the main text. The call-out boxes are perfect for developing conversations with children, and for giving them things to think about. There’s no doubt our children are tech-savvy (far more than the adults in many cases), but they are not worldly-wise and are inclined to take things (and people) at face value. It’s our responsibility to educate them about their digital footprint and protect them from trolls, bullies, frenemies, and stalkers; by using this book, we will be informed about all these risks.

The book emphasises that open communication and a full knowledge of your child’s online activity (in an age-appropriate way) is key to protecting them. The book is written in a friendly and approachable manner which encourages reading. Will Geddes gives simple action plans, preventative steps, and advice on how to recognise the warning signs. Parent Alert! teaches best-practice cyber security on social media accounts; what signals might indicate that your child is falling prey to online grooming, bullying, or extortion; and how you can protect your children from danger. It is suitable for parents of all children including teens. It’s a book to read through and then to keep on hand to help with any issues that come up. Every parent should read this; every school should have a copy.

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