Nothing has transformed the world in the last couple decades quite like the internet. Today’s generation now has access to a wealth of information that previous generations never had. Unfortunately, the internet has also brought about a number of new dangers. Here are just a few ways in which you can keep your family safe against these dangers.
Lock all devices
Our devices often have access to sensitive information. We may have accounts that are automatically logged in or texts and emails containing private details. Putting a lock screen on all devices can prevent strangers from accessing this information. Many modern devices allow the option of biometric passwords such as fingerprint scanning or facial recognition, which can be even harder to hack than a traditional password. All in all, it could stop information falling into the wrong hands if your device is lost or stolen.
Use strong passwords
Many of us use simple passwords such as dates of birth or pet’s names because they’re easier to remember. These passwords are much easier for a hacker to guess, so you should try to avoid them. The best passwords are random combinations of letters and numbers. While it’s harder to remember these passwords, you’re unlikely to ever get hacked when using them. There are a few tips that can help you to create memorable complex passwords that could be worth considering.
Consider parental controls
Most devices and browsers nowadays have the option of setting parental controls. This can help to prevent kids accessing content that could be too explicit for their age. In some browsers, you may even be able to select the specific types of content that your child can see. You may even be able to set up separate controls for different children if your kids are different ages.
Protect your online privacy
You should be careful of the types of information you freely share online. Certain sensitive information could be used by criminals to access online accounts or even plan a burglary. Social media is a place where many people can be guilty of oversharing information. Change your privacy settings so that only friends can view your accounts, avoid accepting friend requests from people you don’t know and be careful of what you post publicly. Similarly, don’t ever share private information via email with people you don’t know or trust. There are many other ways to improve your privacy. On top of adopting these privacy rules yourself, make sure to also encourage your kids to do the same.
Be wary of logging into wi-fi you don’t trust
Certain public wi-fi connections should be approached with caution. Hackers have been known to set up fake wi-fi connections – using these networks they are able to steal private information of anyone that logs on. If you’re in a coffee bar and two wi-fi networks come up both containing the name of the coffee bar, always ask a staff member which network to log into just in case one is a fraudulent network.
Keep software and apps updated
Software and apps need to be regularly updated. Such updates may not always make a noticeable difference, but quite often it’s because they’re security upgrades. It’s likely that there may be new threats out there such as new viruses - the update could be helping to protect you against these viruses. Fail to initiate the update and you could leave your device open to the threat of this virus. Devices such as laptops may automatically update whenever you shut down your computer – make sure that your laptop isn’t constantly left on standby so that it has a chance to restart and upgrade.
Consider restricting screen time
Internet addiction affects many of us. In serious cases, it can lead to sleep deprivation and poor social development. Make sure that you kids aren’t constantly living their lives online, either playing games or on social media. Having a screen time limit can encourage kids to be physically active and socialise. Of course, you can use the internet to socialise and be active, but in many instances this won’t be the case. There are lots of drastic ways to restrict screen time such as locking you kids out of the wi-fi by changing the password or simply asking your kids to leave their devices downstairs when going to bed. Work out the best method of limiting screen time for you.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.