Technology has a tight grip on today’s youth, and while there are undoubtedly some upsides to the digital world, there are also numerous dangers, especially for children. Internet security and privacy can impact what your child is exposed to via web searches, friends and bullies and advertisements, and can also help you protect personal information such as your home address, credit card numbers and even bank account information.
Here are a few tips to help you and your children enjoy the internet and its benefits with minimal risk:
- Keep your home WiFi secure with a password to restrict bandwidth use as well as prevent intentional or accidental malware attacks.
- Read online privacy policies, and encourage your teenagers to do the same. Many networks and websites require personal information in order to create an account or register, so make sure you know what the creators intend to do with the information before passing it along. Take the time to look into their security measures as well, to prevent phishing and identity theft.
- Maintain open communication with your children, as well as with older members of the family. Make sure they are aware of the potential dangers, such as viruses, identity theft, credit card fraud, exposure to adult content and social issues such as stalking and bullying. Encourage them to keep personal plans private, including schedules, travel plans and pictures with identifiable details.
- Keep live online gaming safe by switching on the safety measures in the game consoles and by educating your children about cyberbullying and predators. Games such as Xbox Live should be played under a fake name, and personal information should never be given freely.
- Keeping your children in the loop and maintaining channels of communication is very important, but extra caution may be necessary. Parental Control tools such as BullGuard Internet Security or eSafely enable parents to monitor internet use and restrict certain activities, as well as block inappropriate websites.
- Don’t underestimate hackers. Keep your online information and accounts safe with strong, unique passwords, and change them regularly.