Kids! Design a Superhero and win a prize worth £800! Teachers! Check this out!

ONLINE safety is something which is very important to me - with 7 children aged 5-19 all using the internet on a daily basis on a variety of platforms it feels like the equivalent of putting them in the middle of a busy road and hoping they don't get hit by a car.

Only last week after agonising all day about whether or not I would be thought interfering I contacted a friend to tell her I had found a YouTube video posted by her young daughter which I felt could be attractive to people perving over her innocently-made broadcast. She of course was grateful I had highlighted it and quickly took it down.

And I'm sure many of you dear readers saw that scary news last week about the internet-linked baby monitor which was hacked by some weirdo who parents heard in the night shouting at their baby through the video monitor. Urgh!

The first thing anyone should do to protect themselves and their children from cybercrime is to install a good anti-virus, antispyware and firewall protection. But it's as important to make sure that all members of the family are aware of the dangers of the internet.

Did you know that 86% of youths post personal information online? That almost half of youths have had a negative experience on social networks? And that almost 70% admit they have hidden their online activity from their parents!

These statistics can be found on a useful resource from McAfee, the well-known providers of online protection who have just launched a competition to help make kids more aware of the risks of being on the web.

They are asking children aged 8-11 to design a superhero mascot to represent McAfee's new partnership with Bletchley Park near Milton Keynes, the former home of the Government Code and Cypher School - the forerunner of GCHQ. The worlds first semi-programmable computer "Colossus" was built at Bletchley Park which helped decode messages between Hitler and his army - supposedly shortening the war by 2 years!
Wartime Bletchley Park pic credit; Bletchley Park/McAfee

Bletchley Park is currently being transformed into a world-class heritage centre with a variety of new attractions including a new international cyber security exhibition and computer learning zone being created in the new visitor centre in partnership with McAfee.

Competition Prize Details
The child who designs the winning superhero wins a visit for their whole class to Bletchley Park and that class will be one of the first groups to take part in McAfee's Online Safety For Kids workshop. A McAfee security expert will also visit their school, the whole class will get special capes to wear during their visit to Bletchley & the school will get ten copies of the McAfee LiveSafe software. And the group will get to see the winning mascot brought to life on McAfee's website. The prize is worth £800!

To find out more details of the competition, to enter  and to learn more about McAfee, Bletchley Park and their new partnership  CLICK HERE.

Plus: FREE resources for children, parents and teachers.

McAfee have put together some great resources for parents and children to use to help them understand the dangers of the internet and how to protect themselves and their family.
CLICK HERE for a free online safety for kids activity book. Follow THIS LINK for top tips on online safety for parents and if you have teenagers McAfee have also produced a fascinating report on the online behaviour of teens -vital reading for anyone with tweens or teens!

Scary stuff but knowledge brings power - you hold your children's hand to cross that busy road - make sure you are "virtually" holding their hand on the internet.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Views and opinions remain honest and my own.

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