How this ’30 under 30′ winner is helping parents keep their children safe

Fareedah Shaheed says COVID-19 has caused an uptick in potential danger for kids

Fareedah Shaheed, one of the change makers featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list this year, teaches online security to non-tech savvy people — especially parents.

This year, with more kids home all day and online for extended periods, due to COVID-19, Shaheed says parents are concerned about the uptick in online crimes against children. The Safe Kids Movement, the company of which Shaheed is the CEO and founder, was made to combat this very issue.

The Safe Kids Movement is a membership that includes Q&A sessions, seminars with experts, and content that breaks down the fundamentals of protecting kids online.

While working in the tech world, Shaheed discovered that it’s a clique-ish field in which people look down on others who aren’t tech-savvy. That’s what ignited her interest in providing a space for parents who are navigating the digital age, but don’t know how to protect their children online.

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Reflecting on the past experiences that shaped her career path, the young entrepreneur told theGrio that she was born in the DMV area of the U.S. and moved to Saudi Arabia at eight years old.

The only Black American girl in her school, Shadeed was ostracized by classmates and frequently bullied for her skin color. That experience taught her to protect her own space and provide a welcoming and safe environment for students who were outcasts. Shaheed and her new friends sat together during lunch time and engaged in meaningful discussions.

After majoring in cyber security in college, she went to work in the corporate world and was asked to teach cyber security to employees. During the discussions she led, Shaheed realized her experience with online gaming and creating understanding spaces was invaluable. That’s when she launched the Safe Kids Movement.

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Though Shaheed recently signed a five-figure contract with a multi-billion dollar company to provide online security training for its employees on staying safe at work and at home, her company’s mission is to support and educate families who struggle to understand and implement cybersecurity best practices.

Shaheed’s advice to parents is to listen to their children, make a space for them, and even play online games with them so that parents can identify if there are any obvious threats. Most importantly, parents can better understand their child’s world and enable parental controls on devices that don’t seem safe.

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