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6 Things To Do To Ensure Cyber-Security AT Home

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The bully in the black mirror - Why more young Americans are cyber ... Is your kid already a web savvy? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by how many web trends and novelties he’s familiar with? Sure, you must be proud of him, but aren’t you a bit concerned about his internet safety? With all the fun “toys” the online environment provides, most kids tend to overlook security measures. But you shouldn’t!

And what about grandma – is she still learning the computer ABC? Enough reason for you to make sure she doesn’t fall victim to online scams.

Every day, web specialists come up with new fun apps, social networks, games and other web tools that make our web experience lighter and more fun. But as they become more and more popular, cybercrooks start exploiting them to make some dirty money. This means no matter the age or level of tech-savviness, web users often become direct or collateral victims in ever-more sophisticated internet security attacks. And the web users could be you and your family members.

So here are some rules you might want to comply with if you want to keep your whole family safe in the digital :

1. Secure your home Wi-Fi network

Your home Wi-fi allows your kids to access the internet from all over your house, which makes it harder for you to keep an eye on them. If it’s not secured, intruders might use your bandwidth, or worse, compromise your internet security by infecting your PC with malware or sending their malware attacks from your system. So what to do? Make sure your Wi-Fi is highly secured: use a strong password for your router; enable wireless encryption to prevent strangers from “seeing” your network and restrict access to it.

2. Read online privacy policies carefully.

Social networks or websites that require basic information from you when you create an account with them – , +, Pinterest etc. – have privacy policies. Every time you (or a family member) want to join a new network, read the privacy policy carefully so that you know how/if its creators intend to use your information in any way, and what measures they take to prevent internet security dangers such as phishing and identity theft.

3. Teach your kids and even grandma safe social networking.

First off, if your kid is under 13, don’t let him/her subscribe to social networks unless they’re for kids. Secondly, teach your family members not to use their full names, birthdays and addresses on their profiles. The less personal info, the better for their internet security. Do not talk about your vacation plans prior to leaving, do not share photos with identifiable details (home street, car licence plate etc.) and do not “check-in” to public places. Advise your kids to do the same and talk to them about cyberbullying, predators and stalkers.

4. Ensure safe live online gaming for your kids.

Live online games, such as Xbox Live, enable kids or teens to interact with their friends in a fun way, but can also expose them to internet security dangers such as bullying, harassment, and predators. Make sure your kid doesn’t reveal his identity while playing games – have him use a nickname and an avatar; monitor his play and always check who he’s playing with; turn on the safety measures in the game consoles – use the parental controls they offer.

5. Make sure your teenage kid blogs safely.

Nowadays, all kids do some form of blogging, if not on blogging platforms, on social networks. While blogging improves writing skills and communication, it may compromise your kid’s internet security and physical security if they keep their posts too personal – stalkers and predators’ favourite type of read. So, find out if your kid blogs, evaluate the blogging service (read the privacy policy and make sure it’s private and password-protected), check and review your kid’s blog and posts on social networks regularly.

6. Install Parental Control on your family computers, just in case.

It’s always best to foster open communication with kids, trust them and make them trust you. But extra caution doesn’t hurt. Using a Parental Control tool, just as the one in BullGuard Internet Security, you can block access to inappropriate websites and monitor their activity. Remember: it’s not about spying on your kids, it’s about keeping them safe from online dangers!

Henry Ohaegbulam

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