How to Keep Your Family Safe Online
The internet has opened up our households to the wider world, for better and for worse. It allows people to connect and to learn far more than ever before, but there are inherent dangers found on the internet as well.
Many parents worry about keeping their families safe online, and for good reason.
However, there are things that you can do to ensure the safety of yourself and your children when browsing the internet and we hope this short guide on ‘How to Keep Your Family Safe Online’ will help.
Photo by Rian Ardi Saputro
Keep Your Family Safe Online #1
A Secure Network
The first step to making sure that your whole family is safe online is to keep your home Wi-Fi network secure. Your Wi-Fi can be used by intruders. In some cases, these people just use up your bandwidth for free internet, but they can also compromise your cyber security and send viruses and malware to your devices.
To keep your network more secure, make sure that you use a strong password for your router and enable wireless encryption so that people can’t find your network as easily.
As well as making sure that your network is secure, you can keep your browsing safer and more secure. Look out for malicious websites or scams that allow people to download spyware or ask for personal data. Make sure your computer software is kept up-to-date – this goes across all your internet appliances from your phones and tablets to your laptops and PC’s.
A safe browsing tool, as well as a more complete firewall system, will flag dangerous websites and other concerns. A good VPN system can also provide secure browsers, which keep your online activities and history safe and confidential.
Photo by Sasun Bughdaryan
Keep Your Family Safe Online #2
Ideally, you want to trust your children and have them trust you in turn. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be cautious. Children don’t always know best, and there are dangers on the internet that they may not fully understand.
You can shield your children using parental controls that restrict them from inappropriate websites. As your child grows older, you can change the restrictions to allow them more freedom to access more age-appropriate websites.
Be open with the parental controls and explain what you’re doing and why. Nothing breaks trust faster than a teenager feeling as though their privacy is being invaded without their knowledge. There’s a difference between responsibly monitoring your child and completely invading their privacy or spying on them.
Photo by Sakshi Mohapekar
Keep Your Family Safe Online #3
Safe Social Networking
Social networking has exploded in recent years. Adults and children alike can spend hours scrolling through social media. It is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends and family, but it also allows your children to access other people on the internet. Unfortunately, not all of these people are safe, and there’s no real way to know who they’re talking to.
Ideally, young children shouldn’t subscribe to social networking sites. If your child is old enough, then teach them safe social networking skills. They shouldn’t use their full names, birthdates, or physical addresses on their profiles. This information can be used against anyone.
You also shouldn’t announce vacations or holidays away until after you return, as some people will see that as an opportunity to take advantage of your empty home. “Checking in” to public places makes it easier for people to find you and your family, whether you want to or not. Ideally, your children’s profiles should be private, so they can’t be found by anyone wandering the internet.
You should also monitor how much time your children spend on social media. Social media doesn’t always have the best effects on children, as it exposes them to people and ideas that they may not be ready for. It’s easy to spend hours on social media, and this can impact your child’s well-being.
Photo by Emily Wade
Keep Your Family Safe Online #4
Safe Online Gaming
Many children enjoy online gaming. This lets them interact with their friends and play games together, but it can also expose them to other dangers. A lot of people play games online, including people who may bully or harass other people.
If your child wants to play online, make sure that they don’t reveal their identity or location while playing games. This keeps them safer from predators or bullies. You should also check who they’re playing with and monitor the play. Most video games have parental controls and safety measures, so check those out as well.
While you’re at it, make sure that your child can’t spend your money on in-game purchases. Some children don’t understand that they’re spending real money and can rack up enormous bills.
PIN: How to Keep Your Family Safe Online in 4 Ways