It is a really good idea to speak to your children about internet safety. This will ensure that they follow safe and secure practices when they are online, and navigate how to use it. However, this is not enough. As a parent, you must build a solid foundation of safety and security, starting with the type of network you use, to how you model online behaviour.
The online world is a scary place. The internet and various means of technology have progressed significantly in the last 50 or so years, and there are lots of kinks that still need working out. There are many ways that children can innocently get caught in traps online, whether by accidentally clicking on links or being the victim of a targeted attack.
As a parent, it can be difficult as you may feel stuck on what to do. You can’t deny your children access to the internet, as it is likely all their friends use it, and it is a requirement for homework and other activities. But when you do let them access it, it can feel very much out of your control, as you can only do so much to keep them safe. This is important, especially if your children use the internet for social media, gaming and other activities that use their personal information or give them access to engage with other people on the internet. If they are just doing homework or research, the risks are very different.
In addition to educating your children, there are a few more things that you can do. To help you on your journey to keeping your internet as safe as possible, here are some top tips that you should know.
Understand internet security
The first and most important thing you should do is do some research so you can learn more about internet security. Cybersecurity is always changing, and new threats are always coming up. Make sure you know what to look out for, and what to avoid, and share this with your children as well. You should always make sure that you keep an eye on the news for any new threats, and keep all software up to date.
Choose a reputable supplier
You can set up safe and secure foundations for your home network by choosing a reputable internet supplier. Make sure you do your research and speak to neighbours for personal recommendations. You want to choose a network supplier that has a good reputation, is hot on security and has a good support line. This will ensure that you prevent as many problems as possible, but also have access to support as and when you need it. If you choose a supplier that no one has heard of, you may fall for a scam or get a network that isn’t sufficiently secure to keep your family protected from online threats.
Set up passwords and change them regularly
Passwords are often underestimated. Many people will make the mistake of choosing an easy password, so they can remember it. Or, they will not update their passwords regularly. Unfortunately, this can lead to many safety and security issues. You should ensure all your passwords, not just the password for your internet are complex and not easy to guess. You should also change your passwords regularly, and avoid using the same one across multiple systems. You should educate your children on this as well. You live in a world where data isn’t secure, and many breaches give cybercriminals access to your information.
There are a variety of parental controls that you can get access to, in the form of software that will enable you to limit what your children can do online, as well as monitor their activity. While many think this might be a privacy breach, it is a necessary thing to do with the amount of dangers your children can access easily on the internet. Some networks and computers will come with this software, and other times you may need to invest in a separate software tool to get the controls set up. You can also limit their screen time, which can greatly benefit their mental health.
You should always make sure you have a good level of security on your network. This is extremely important. This should include antivirus and antimalware software that will be able to scan the website that you click on, and even before you click on them, to warn you of any malware or phishing threats. It will also conduct regular scans to make sure nothing has inadvertently infected your devices. For extra security and privacy, you can also use a fast VPN which will hide your IP address and therefore your location.
The internet is a fantastic asset but can also be a scary place unless you’re careful. Hopefully, by following these tips you can explore and enjoy what it has to offer while keeping you and your family safe.
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