North Harbour News : February 11th 2016
NEWS North Harbour Thursday, February 11, 2016 YOUR PLACE, YOUR PAPER ERICA DONALD The cyber world can be a scary place, especially for parents helping their children navigate it. That’s why Albany residents Phil and Lynette Petry and their 12-year-old twins have joined forces with Vodafone to help families be more prepared and better connected. They are the only Auckland family taking part in The Parent Project, which gives them tools and guidance to become more confident as a family dealing with digital issues, such as cyber bullying and staying safe online. The Petrys will share their experiences through blogs and videos. ‘‘At the end of the 12 months we want our families to have the skills to use existing and future technology and confidently guide their children’s digital growth and development,’’ Vodafone’s Digi-Parenting manager Liz Wilson says. Amyloses cancer fight P3 Thrilled with new home P11 Phil and Lynette Petry are taking part in The Parent Project with Vodafone to help more families stay safe on the internet. Keeping families cyber safe One of the first tasks was to set up a family agreement with usage rules for all. ‘‘I’ve definitely become more aware doing this,’’ Lynette says. ‘‘It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t have a cellphone, but the kids are on it so I have to deal with it. I’m wanting to make them selfresponsible.’’ She says one of the best things is the Vodafone Guardian app, which means they can control which apps the girls can use on their phones at certain times. Phil, Vodafone’s key account manager, says working in the industry makes him more aware of the need to stay safe online. ‘‘I’m the worst parent in the world according to those two,’’ he says. ‘‘But the stranger danger rule applies on the internet. I’ve seen behind the scenes of global security and what we do to protect people online.’’ Their daughters turn 13 soon so will meet social media website age restrictions, opening a whole new can of worms. ‘‘It’s something we have been avoiding while they are 12,’’ Phil says. Both girls have computers as their school requires them to bring devices, and they have been given phones for the project. Phil’s advice to parents is to try and learn what your children are doing online. ‘‘Talk to them about it, like you would with everything else. Make sure they’re safe.’’ ❚ Visit digi-parenting.co.nz for more.
February 4th 2016