Top tips for keeping your family safe online

To celebrate SAFER INTERNET DAY today, we publish here a guide on what you need to know to keep your family safe online.
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Our top tips for keeping your family safe online have been prepared by David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

There’s no doubt about it, the internet is taking over the world and, despite the wonderful social and developmental opportunities it offers your children, it’s getting harder to protect yourself and your family online. Safer Internet Day aims to highlight the rights and responsibilities of young people online and educate them on the need to discover the digital world safely. But are you as a parent aware of the potential threats facing your children online?

Examining YouTube’s ‘suggested’ videos which sit visibly alongside clips or episodes of popular children’s television programmes such as Peppa Pig, Rastamouse and Dora the Explorer, Kaspersky researchers found that, on average, users are just three clicks away from content better suited to a more mature audience.

Children make extensive use of internet resources such as search engines, social networks and email. All of these are a potential source of threats, namely the distribution of links to phishing or pornographic websites, as well as adult content spam which may negatively affect a child’s psyche and expose the computer to the risk of malware infection.

But what can parents do in this situation? David Emm offers a number of ways to protect your family online:

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

2- Don’t talk to strangers. You teach your children the dangers of talking to strangers on the street, so treat talking to strangers online with the same urgency. Be aware of the potential dangers of the net, from online bullying to paedophiles. Take parental control over the site you don’t want your children to look at by using the parental control feature in your online security product – it’s an easy way to avoid disaster.

3- 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.

4- 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?

5- 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.

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

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