Angelina Jolie has cybersecurity detail for her kids

The actress and director of the new film 'Unbroken' has said she has a team to help monitor her kid's activity online. What are the options for parents without the budget for a cybersecurity team?

Michael Sohn/AP
In this Nov. 27, 2014 file photo, director Angelina Jolie poses for photographers during a photo call for her film "Unbroken" in Berlin, Germany.

From Sony email hacks, to pictures of celebrities leaked online, the web is offering a whole new playground for airing the dirty laundry of the stars. 

But don’t expect to see Angelina Jolie involved in the fray, or her kids for that matter. According to a recent interview with People, Angelina Jolie has hired cybersecurity guards to help monitor the online activity of her six kids.

The actress and director of the upcoming film “Unbroken” says, “it’s a scary new world,” and People reports: “As a result, she and husband Brad Pitt (who also eschews social media) hired a cyber security team to monitor the Internet and social media content that their children, who range from ages 6 to 13, encounter.” 

Jolie seems to view the online world as a potential minefield, and relates her concern to her own experience, stating that many of her young adult exploits would have been better documented if social media sites were around when she was growing up.

She told the magazine she avoids Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, favoring an old-fashioned paper notebook to an online post.

While parents can be cautious about their kids' online activity, there are some basic tips that can be shared with kids without blowing their college fund on hiring a team of experts.

StaySafeOnline.org, the site operated by the National Cyber Security Alliance offers thorough information for parents on “raising digital citizens” and how to use parental controls in their own home.

A sampling of the long list of tips includes:

  • Remain positively engaged: Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use.
  • Know the protection features of the websites and software your children use: All major Internet service providers (ISPs) have tools to help you manage young children’s online experience 
  • Review privacy settings: Look at the privacy settings available on social networking sites, cell phones, and other social tools your children use. 
  • Explain the implications: Help your children understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks, as well as benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos, or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. 

Also, the site offers tips for safety on mobile devices, which are one of the most common ways for kids to access the Internet and social media sites. According to a 2013 Nielsen study reported on CNET, “70 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 now use smartphones, and 79 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 own a smartphone.” 

If all else fails in keeping your kids safe, or keeping them from posting too many selfies, tell them that they can be just like the stars, by keeping a journal of their innermost feelings instead of posting them for online acquaintances. 

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