Although living in the Age of Information is wonderful, the Internet has a seedy side to it that all parents must understand in order to protect their family’s online privacy and security. Kids are now becoming internet savvy at younger and younger ages, often being able to work mobile devices before they can even read. So, as parents, it is imperative to follow the necessary precautions to protect our family online.
Have you taken steps to prevent unsavory thieves and predators from violating your family’s security and online privacy? Read on to ensure your family is safe in the digital world:
- Have a Candid Conversation With Your Children About Internet and Social Media Safety
- Check Their Cell Phones’ Apps Periodically
- Make Sure Your Home WiFi Network Is Secure
- Learn How To Recognize Phishing Scams and Teach This to Your Family Members
- Stay Off of Public Wifi
Even though it can be an uncomfortable subject, not unlike the birds and the bees, every child should understand that there are an unfortunate few among us who would exploit them. Teach your children about the pitfalls of social media such as coming into contact with predators and stalkers, cyberbullies, and thieves. Tell them to limit the amount of personal information on their profiles. Explain that mentioning vacationing on these outlets while the family is away from home is a great way to invite burglars to break in.
Check apps for permissions to be sure they do not jeopardize your family’s privacy and security.
There are literally hundreds of thousands of cell phone apps available today. While most are useful and trustworthy, there are simply too many that are not. Check apps for permissions to be sure they do not jeopardize your family’s privacy and security. Make sure the apps being used are appropriate for your children by researching them on the web. Be wary of hidden or in-game costs – the last thing you want is massive, surprise charges on your phone bill.
Create a secure password unrelated to family names, dates such as anniversaries, and use at least one number and one special character such as an exclamation point. Turn on wireless encryption on the router. Change the name of the network (aka SSID name), as thieves tend to target poorly configured access points. Keep the network name private so it does not show up on random wireless devices. Use security software on home computers.
Hackers often employ a tactic called “phishing” to gain access to usernames, bank account login credentials, birthdates, and PINs. This is most often accomplished by sending what looks like a benign email, text, or private message on social media. Dead giveaways are usually alarmist messages like account closures or money owed, obscure charities asking for donations, or a Nigerian prince willing to graciously bestow a small fortune upon you in exchange for an upfront downpayment.
While a great convenience for most of us, public WiFi is a hacker’s playground. These free mobile hotspots are the perfect way for a digital thief to get their hands on all of the personal information stored in your mobile device. By setting up a fake network and tricking people into connecting to it voluntarily, an electronic pickpocket gains access to every piece of information and security credentials contained in it. They can also install malware onto your computer, tablet, or cell phone, which can go on to infect many more wireless devices yet.
Be Vigilant With Your Family’s Online Privacy and Security
While you cannot guarantee your family’s security and privacy at all times, educating yourself and all members of your family can go a long way. Thieves will undoubtedly come up with new ways to violate your online privacy and steal your most sensitive data, so keeping up with the newest trends is most certainly recommended. Being consistent with your security measures and practices will ensure the best chance to keep hackers out of your mobile devices.
What other security measures and practices do you implement with your own family? Please comment below and inform the rest of the community – it will be a big help to us all.
Aaron Zar is a entrepreneur, energetic sales, management & leadership professional. Follow him on LinkedIn. Learn more about Guest Blogging for SafeSmartSocial.com