While we are often taught about the various cybersecurity concerns we may face in the workplace, such as data leaks and phishing, we often forget about the importance of staying safe online within our own homes. However, staying safe online is more important than ever when you are raising a family, and your children will be spending time behind a screen. In this case, you need to ensure that:
- Your children are not exposed to inappropriate content online.
- Your children are aware of various cybersecurity threats such as viruses and hackers to keep your private data safe.
- Your children are not communicating with strangers online.
When your children are younger, monitoring their computer usage is rather easy – as they will likely use their computer/laptop under your supervision. However, as your children get older, you must give them the gift of privacy. Therefore, you must ensure your children know everything there is to know about staying safe online.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to ensure your family stays safe online.
Teach your children about online dangers early on. This is perhaps the most essential step you can take towards online safety. This is due to the fact that children are often less aware of the dangers that surround them, which could quickly lead to trouble. To begin with, lay down some ground rules for internet usage – by ensuring that they do not use online chat rooms or liaise with strangers. You can use this informative video to get them up to speed:
Install a computer security system. Computer security systems are another great way to help keep your children safe online due to the fact that they can quickly block websites that could be dangerous. While this reduces the chances of them gaining access to inappropriate content, it also lets you know when certain websites or files may contain viruses.
Use monitoring apps. As your child gets a little older and starts asking for a phone, it’s important that you remember that they can easily get online through these devices – and that their online behaviors are then harder to manage. One way in which you can ensure that they stay safe is by using monitoring apps. The apps allow you to keep track of what they are looking at online, keep personal data private, and monitor their location. For more information, checkout the Family Orbit iPhone Monitoring App
Keep your computers/laptops in a communal space. Stopping your children from using their electronic devices in their bedroom is another easy way in which you can subtly monitor their usage without looking over their shoulders the entire time.
Ensure that any data you keep on your computer is secure. If you store any important or sensitive information on your computers, such as banking details or your address, it’s important that you take the steps to ensure it is stored securely. For example, the folders should be password protected or encrypted – so that your children will not be able to access them or share them accidentally. You should also ensure that you are aware of the password your children use online – and teach them the importance of putting together a good password.
Block certain sites, words, or phrases. As mentioned before, it’s difficult to pay attention to what your children are doing 24/7. Thankfully, you can ensure that all of the content they view is age-appropriate by using internet filter software. Once installed, this will give you much greater peace of mind. You could also consider ensuring that they use kid-friendly search engines, such as Kiddle, that automatically filter through content to ensure that it will not be inappropriate in any way.
Be wary of social media. Another way in which you can make sure your children stay safe online is by being a little wary of social media. To begin with, you should ensure that they do not set up any accounts until they are old enough (many platforms require the user to be 13 or over). You should then also ensure that they are careful when using their social media accounts – by keeping private information such as their location private. Finally, you should also ensure that their accounts are private and that they only accept friend/follow requests from people they know in real life.