For many making attempts to teach their older loved one’s anything technical, the response is typically rooted in the fact that it is too hard or can’t be figured out. But, Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, Fareedah Shaheed is not taking that for an answer. Her response was to create, Sekuva–a tech company that facilitates helping parents keep their children safe navigating virtual spaces.
According to USA Today, “The increase in reports tracks in the United States and abroad during the pandemic, experts said. Tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the clearinghouse for such information in the United States, nearly doubled from 6.3 million in the first half of 2019 to 12 million through June of this year. Reports of online enticement similarly spiked during that timeframe, from 6,863 to 13,268.”
Shaheed created Sekuva with an understanding of the influx of cyber bullying having been a recipient of being bullied as a Black American girl growing up in Saudi Arabia. As a result, her tech company focuses its efforts around protecting children as the world moves further into a world that is instantly connected through the internet.
“I had a lightbulb moment and flashback to when I was about 13 years old dealing with predators online, stalkers, and really inappropriate things. So I just combined my experience as a kid growing up and having to protect myself from predators online and my formal experience with security awareness and threat intelligence because there was an uptick during this pandemic with online crimes against children,” Shaheed stated.
Sekuva segments its learning of protecting children from online predators and also gaming and social media sites. Shaheed strongly believes that the relationship the parent has with their child is the first step in their defense against predators. Providing a space and home that children are more inept to be open and transparent can create a safer environment. However, Shaheed also affirms that even if a child does not choose to disclose these activities does not make for a parenting failure.
“I really feel for parents trying to figure out this digital age and digital parenting. At the end of the day, parents are not going to be with their children around the clock, so parents have to think into the future and how their parenting will have to shift. But also, when children come to their parents about their favorite game or YouTuber, although it may be odd to them it’s important that they listen to their kid and show some sort of genuine interest. What is important to them is important, period,” she stated.
For more information on Sekuva and protecting children online, head to their website.