New Family Dynamics As Connected Lifestyle Grows

“You know that we are living in a digital world

and I am a digital girl.”

I often find myself humming the above lines when I am struck by how digital has become a part and parcel of our lives. Digital India has made the internet an indispensable part of consumers’ life. From benefits related to education, medicine, transportation and entertainment to your personal comfort at home, internet related services have come a long way.

As our real world and cyber world merges, there are bound to be changes in the family dynamics. Devices, for instance, our smartphones are already playing an increasingly significant role. We can use it to turn the TV into a smart TV, operate the car lock, connect the home CCTV system to our smartphones, or even monitor AC temperature of our homes.

The growth in connected homes equate to new family challenges. Are we aware of all the implications and challenges of a smart home and how to prepare our kids for it? To better understand family behavior and attitudes towards the connected lifestyle, McAfee conducted a global survey of 13,000 adults about their family’s evolving digital habits and more.

The McAfee global survey, “New Family Dynamics in a Connected World,” emphasizes the need for simple ways for parents to manage internet connectivity in their homes.

Indian parents are concerned about their children’s internet usage. 93% of the parents have had a talk with their children about the dangers of cyber criminals and identity theft. 49% of parents are worried about the potential interaction of their child with a social predator or cybercriminal. Many are monitoring screen time, with 57% of them limiting it to 1-2 hours per day. Some parents have admitted to having arguments with their children about taking devices to bed.

Concern shows awareness and needs to be backed by suitable actions. Start conversations about cybersafety early. Set simple rules like, “always use passwords” or, “don’t open emails from strangers.” You also need to stay aware of new apps that your children like and use.

Digital use monitoring continues to lag behind. In India, 84% of parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed, much higher than the global average of 76%. Of those Indian kids taking their devices to bed, 32% of parents monitor their child’s device usage but 24% do not.

You can really help your child by playing a more proactive role. Besides securing your child’s device, you may want to have the passwords for their social media accounts until they are mature enough to handle all online activities responsibly.

Adults are still not setting a very good example. On an average, 43% of adults are spending more time online than on face to face interactions when at home (40%). Consider this, 71% of parents have been called out by their child for being on their device during family time!

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As parents, you need to teach your child good digital practices through your own examples. Why not limit your own screen time and keep your device away during family time? This will send the message across that it is also important to interact in person and there are times when you need to keep the device away.

With digital getting integrated into children’s everyday lives, it’s imperative for parents to implement a few do’s and don’ts.

 Quick tips:

  • Secure devices: Use comprehensive protection, like McAfee LiveSafe, across all devices and set up parental controls for each child.
  • Stranger-danger: Teach your children to say “NO” to interactions with anyone they don’t know well in real life.
  • Strong password: Teach kids the need for strong, unique and secure passwords
  • Share passwords with parents: Children need to keep their parents updated on all their passwords until they are mature enough to understand and handle their digital responsibility.
  • Clean devices: Minimize the amount of data stored on a device. The less data on the device, the less there will be for hackers to steal. Be sure to back up your data via cloud storage or external devices.

The times are changing and children continue to seamlessly adapt to new technology. What you as a parent can do is teach them to practice digital balance early on. Keep communication channels open. Set rules but at the same time, allow them some privacy and freedom too. In the digital world, the security of connected homes depends a lot on its members. Get your family to start following cyber safety rules to make the most of your connected lifestyle.

Have a great day!

Livestreaming – This Is What You Need To Know

The Indian Premier League fever is on, that annual T20 cricket fest that everyone awaits so eagerly. The munchies are out, the best sofa seat is reserved and all household chores completed. If you are not at home or don’t have a TV in your hostel – No worries, your smartphone will be your TV on the go!

Livestreaming is trending now thanks to the convenience it brings. It is not just about watching matches online, you can also livestream the latest TV shows, movies or performances on the go. If you happen to be a football fan, you wouldn’t want to miss even one of the supercharged UEFA matches that you can livestream on your device.

Thanks to the rise in popularity of the internet across the nation, smartphone penetration, and exciting offers on data usage by service providers, livestreaming has taken Digital India by storm. People are making most of this service, not only to catch up with their favorite shows and sports, but also to share with their experiences through social media

So, what is livestreaming?

Live streaming involves the delivery of internet content as it is happening with no cuts or edits. The videos are uploaded on social media and they start playing right away without waiting for the whole file to download. Also, they don’t get automatically stored on the device either.

Initially there were apps that allowed one to livestream events to friends or the public, but now many social media forums and even TV channels offer these services. So, if you are planning to watch the latest season of Game of Thrones even before it has aired in India, or share your child’s first dance recital as they perform, go ahead and do so, but first, you need to be aware of some facts on livestreaming.

yber threat warning – While using free live streaming apps, you may find pop up ads covering the video you want to watch. The ‘close ad’ buttons could be fake, only to launch malware attacks. Another way cybercriminals target their victims is by asking the user to download “special software” to make the stream work. The software you download has a higher likelihood of being malicious.

As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Therefore, is it important to consider few do’s and don’ts while livestreaming:

If you are livestreaming content from the internet:

  • The content factor: Because it is shared live, the video may contain inappropriate content
  • The Free factor: Watch your favorite games, TV shows, or movies via a verified website and enjoy without worries. Be wary of free offers, because that may put you at risk of downloading viruses or cookies that could either steal data or compromise your device
  • The security factor: Always use devices which have security installed on them to livestream content to enjoy continued peace of mind and safety
  • The gambling factor: Betting firms advertise a lot on livestreamed content and there is always a risk of children getting lured to these sites. Further, the ads may contain adult advertisements which is inappropriate for children
  • The data factor: Long hours of livestreaming involves high data consumption and you may want to talk to your child about increasing costs and data limits

If you are livestreaming content to the internet:

  • The copyright factor: It may not be appropriate to livestream events like plays, concerts, private music shows, movies etc. without verifying if it’s allowed. You need to get prior permission
  • The privacy factor: Do ask for permission from all concerned first before you start livestreaming events like marriages, parties, dances, prayer services. Some people may not want to be in the frame and their wishes should be respected. Similarly, if you are being filmed and don’t like it, say so clearly
  • The location factor: Livestreaming from home or elsewhere with location turned on can be an open invitation to strangers to connect with you. Do not share personal videos or details without parental permission

 

Secure your device with the latest that security has to offer, like McAfee LiveSafe, opt for paid services and then sit back and enjoy the match-or whatever it is that you want to watch.

There falls a wicket and I am off to watch the match being livestreamed on a big screen in the society garden. Join me? J