Facing the future | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Facing the future

Now that Facebook has launched a messaging app specifically for children, online security will become an even bigger priority for the tech world. 

“I want to go on Facebook!”

“You can’t, you’re under 13.”

“But I wanna…”

Sound familiar? For the parents among you, keeping the intoxicating prospect of social media at bay is no easy task. Yet the age restrictions on platforms like Facebook have at least offered a legitimate excuse – until now.

Facebook’s announcement that it’s trialling Messenger Kids, a mini-me version of the senior site’s instant chat app, has had a mixed reception. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, for example, implored Mark Zuckerberg to “stay away from my kids”, despite the network’s assurances that the app will be a safe option that will not feed data for advertising purposes.

Each ‘friendship’ will have to be approved by parents and Facebook say they will not funnel Messenger Kids data forward into any future profiles if the child decides to join once they turn 13. Do we trust the $500 billion international Goliath to protect our kids? Hmm…

After all, although social media has truly revolutionised the way we connect, live and do business, there are indisputable downsides that can have quite serious consequences. We know all about the perils of an ill-advised instant message sent in haste – we’re looking at you, President Trump – and then there are the hackers to think about.

But if it looks like children are going to be drawn into the online world at an ever earlier age, now is the time for the cybersecurity superheroes to come to the rescue. Cometh the hour, cometh the techie…

Are you working on software to make our internet interactions more secure? Or can you beat Facebook to a genuinely safe online space for our kids? If so, give the team a call on 0800 772 0800 and tell us all about it.

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