Knowing how to use social media and the Internet in general is an important part of being a good parent. Most teenagers and a growing number of younger children are using and interacting with social media. With the growing number of ways to communicate online, the increasing number of internet enabled devices and a more technically savvy populous, parents need to be ever vigilant in the online activities of their children. To help you, I bring you ten online safety tips to help you educate yourself in proper Internet safety practices.
Tip 1: Never click links given to you by people you do not trust.
Drive by downloads are a huge issue for a lot of the less savvy internet users. By clicking on links that you receive in email from unknown people you are at risk of infecting your computer with a virus if you allow the download to take place.
Tip 2: Always require your children to add you as a friend on their social networking accounts.
With most of the current social media outlets adding someone to your friends list also allows them to see your friends. Keep an eye out on how many people your child is adding and what applications they are using. Social media applications are a major privacy concern as they access user data and share that data with third party marketing firms and other partners. Many people do not pay attention to this fact. Also, when your child adds what a social media outlet labels as a friend it could just as well be a complete stranger. Keep this in mind when monitoring the use of social media by your children.
Tip 3: Talk with your family about Internet safety and help them stay apprised of new online safety tips that you might discover.
Caring is sharing as they say. Make sure that your family is involved in the online safety process. You are only as safe as you are knowledgeable. Educating yourself in technological trends for a few minutes a day can save you a lot of pain later.
Tip 4: Always remember that Internet enabled mobile phones and devices can be infected with viruses too.
Many people forget that mobile phones, IPads, IPhones and Android phones are just small computers. They can be infected with viruses and malware as well. Make sure that you are smart about how you use the Internet.
Tip 5: Use a firewall and learn how to manage the firewall properly.
Can you unblock a port that your firewall is blocking? Can you block an address that is trying to access your computer? Do you know where to find out the information if you have questions? A firewall is an important part of staying secure. Learn to use yours.
Tip 6: Use an antivirus solution and keep it updated.
The biggest thread to online safety are viruses, tracking cookies and online scams. Keep yourself protected from viruses and malware by learning to manage your antivirus software properly. An outdated virus scanner is useless against new viruses. Learn to test your virus scanner with the eicar test files. You can find them at the site linked at the bottom of the page.
Tip 7: Keep your operating system updated.
Keeping your Windows system or Mac system up to date is a critical component of any online safety plan. If you have out dated software and you are online you are at risk of being hacked because of existing bugs in the old, unpatched software you are running. You need to keep all of your programs up to date at all times.
Tip 8: Never give out passwords to any one for any reason.
This is self-explanatory. Never give out your password for any reason and never write your passwords down or store them in a mobile phone without encrypting them first.
Tip 9: Never download software from places that you do not trust.
By downloading and running software from untrusted locations you are at greater risk of your privacy and online safety being breached. Always download from a known, trusted location and make sure that you validate that the files do not contain viruses before executing them.
Tip 10: Visit Online Safety Today regularly for online safety tips and tricks. Online Safety Today provides online safety tips and tricks to families and Internet users to make their web experience more enjoyable and more safe.