Keeping Your Children Safe While Using Technology

Hap Aziz, director of the Rasmussen College School of Technology and Design, discusses ways to protect your children as they use gadgets that connect to the Internet, such as game consoles, phones and computers.

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Amy Kaufeldt: All right, Ryan, thank you. It's a FOX 35 consumer alert. iPhones, iPads, social networking, and much, much more technology is really now woven into our children's lives. It can be hard to keep up with all the changes in the tech world, but you do not want to be left behind especially when your child's safety is at risk. Stalkers, identity theft and worse, all of it lurking on the Web. Joining us now live from the Fox 35 newsroom is Hap Aziz. He is our technology expert from Rasmussen College. Hap, great to see you. Thanks for coming in.

Hap Aziz: It's good to be here.

Amy Kaufeldt: All right. So I guess one of the big headlines, just this morning, is the video games now talking about Sony saying that this hacker actually accessed maybe 100 million people's information. We hear that and we think that's a lot of people. That could be literally a third of the country.

Hap Aziz: Well, that's right. And the risk for families is very much related to what's happening in the home, what's happening with the networks that are under a parent's control.

Amy Kaufeldt: Okay. When we hear about stories like this we think automatically, how do we protect ourselves? How do we protect our kids? What can we do?

Hap Aziz: Well, the first thing is that parents need to be aware that just about all of the devices that kids access media with are capable of accessing the Internet. Handheld game systems, including Sony's PSP, the Nintendo DS, the new 3DS, and of course the Apple iPod Touches, those are all able to access the Internet wirelessly if families have wireless network set up in their homes.

Amy Kaufeldt: It used to be the old school thing was keep the desktop in a central room where you can monitor what the kids are doing. We can't do that anymore. It's not even possible with all these mobile devices. So how do we keep track of what they're up to?

Hap Aziz: Well, the first thing is parents cannot leave technology to the children. I remember years ago it would be if the VCR was blinking 12, you'd have the child set up the VCR so the time was running correctly. Nowadays, if you leave technology to the children in the family to set up, they'll obviously set things up so they can access the Internet. Parents need to be very aware of what type of Internet connection is in their home, whether it's wireless or wired, and they need to be able to configure it or have someone help them configure it to have password access so that their children cannot get onto the Internet unrestricted.

Amy Kaufeldt: All right. So if you can't figure it out, hire an expert. That's always good advice. Hap Aziz, always great to see you. Thank you so much for coming in this morning.

Hap Aziz: Thank you.

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