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  • Microsoft’s New Windows 8 OS Makes Online Security for Kids Easy

    Media personality and mom Daphne Osena-Paez tells us what she loves most about the Windows 8.
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    Daphne is also enthusiastic about the childproofing feature of the new Windows 8. “Last night, I got an e-mail that somebody bought something [online] and the charge just went straight to my Visa! It was for an app, someone bought 50 coins, and I was like, "Who did that?" As it turns out, Lily was playing on the computer and probably pressed something and she pressed the option of buying all these coins for a game. Had she clicked on something else she could have ended up sending an e-mail to somebody or tweeting through my Twitter.”

    With the Kids’ Corner feature on the Windows 8, Daphne can feel confident letting her kids use her gadgets, since they can safely play their games or listen to music or use age-appropriate apps even while the device -- say, a smartphone -- is locked, thereby limiting access to other programs. Furthermore, the parent can dictate what apps appear in the Kids’ Corner through the Kids’ Corner app. “Now, finally, there's a virtual room that’s only for kids. I don't know why it took so long for somebody to invent the child-proofing thing.”

    Having said that, Daphne has these 5 tips for parents on ensuring their children's safety in this digital world:

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    1. Minimize their time with the gadget.
    My little one, Stella, has discovered games through my husband, but I'm firm with her and say "10 minutes only". She's just three years old; she's just too young. So I try not to expose her to that.

    2. Monitor their activities.
    I really watch them. My daughter has an Instagram account because she loves taking pictures. I set it up for her but I know the password and monitor it. It's private; she only accepts from friends.

    3. Discuss with them the possible dangers.
    I also brief them early on about the dangers and the fun of social networking, of Instagram. One time my daughter was like, "What do you mean, there could be bad people?" "Well, just like in the mall, somebody can grab you, same thing here. So don't ever give your location, don't give your school, and don't give what city you're from, because sometimes, there's bad people.” They're aware.

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    4. Everything has to be age-appropriate.
    Obviously, the three-year-old does not really understand, but my nine-year-old is aware. She knows that she can't accept friend requests, follower requests in Instagram from people we don't know. As for Facebook, Facebook has regulations--you have to be over 13. But for some reason, kids in her class -- nine-year-olds -- they already have Facebook, which they had when they were still in Prep! And I'm really against that because they're so young. They should be reading books, playing in the park, and doing art.

    5. Go back to basics.
    Even though I'm so techie and I have all these gadgets when I'm doing my online work, I still believe in analog. There's nothing better than analog -- paper and pencil are still the best. I try to make my kids do traditional things. Luckily they're not interested in Facebook or Twitter -- it's more Instagram, photo sharing, but even then I encourage them to capture moments and details, and not so much self-portraits.

    Still, Daphne believes that nothing can replace a parent’s presence and guidance. “It's great that Windows 8 has these mechanisms to protect your child, but there's no one else that can really protect your child more than you. I think it's really important for parents to be present and to still know what your child is doing online.”

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