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Safety & Security Keeping children safe online

• Don’t talk to strangers. You teach your children the dangers of talking to strangers on the street; and you should treat talking to strangers online with the same urgency. Be aware of the potential threats to your child on the net, from cyber-bullying to paedophiles. Share your child’s online experience from a young age and encourage them to tell you about anything that upsets them or makes them feel uncomfortable.

Comment by David Emm, Senior security researcher, Kaspersky Lab

• Use parental controls as your eyes and ears when you can’t be there. Comprehensive Internet security products include a parental control module that lets you manage your children’s online experience. Also, don’t forget that many devices today – from games consoles to smartphones – come with built-in parental control features that let you restrict the content they see, prevent them from making in-app purchases and more.

• Practise safe online shopping. When you’re going to buy the latest toy for your tyke, make sure you purchase from a reputable online retailer. You always look for a URL that starts with ‘https’ and has the lock symbol when entering your credit card details or other personal information.

• Socialise safely. By now, we’ve all had a bad link or two sent to us over our favourite social

network. Utilise your social network’s security settings to their optimum level. Do you really need to display every detail about your life? And perhaps more importantly – do your children?

• Safe passwords. Encourage your children to use secure passwords – a different one for each Internet service. Set passwords to include 8-14 upper and lower case characters and numbers. Don’t let hackers infiltrate your family computer due to weak passwords. And if the thought of keeping track of so many passwords is too daunting, use password manager software to securely manage it all for you – leaving you with just one master password to remember.

• Got protection? This may seem obvious, but security software is the new ‘black’. It helps you and your children stay fully protected against malware, spyware, hacking and identity theft at all times.

• Stomp out spam. Most Internet Service Providers and security software programs have anti-spam technologies. The spam blocker will help prevent fraudulent e-mails from showing up in your Inbox. Fake lottery wins or chances to win the latest gadget can be very tempting to adults, but they’re especially enticing to children.


June 2014

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