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10 Tips for Children's Online Safety

With malware, scams, and hacks, the Internet can feel like a dangerous place. With the recent proliferation of devices, from tablets and smartphones to Internet-connected appliances, our families are exposed to higher risks. It's important to protect yourself.

However, the best news is that taking a handful of security measures can significantly reduce our exposure to these threats.

Here are some tips that can help you protect yourself and your family:

1. Create Complex Passwords

Creating a unique, secure password for your critical accounts is the best way to protect your financial and personal information. In an era of widespread corporate hacks, this is true. There have been many data breaches in the last few years.

One database breach can reveal passwords for tens of thousands of accounts. When you reuse your password on several accounts, a hacker can use the leaked data from an attack to log in to other accounts. We advise that you use a password manager to help create and store strong passwords for your accounts. This will allow you to create a unique password for each account.

Multi-factor authentication is a feature you should look for in your online accounts. This authentication uses multiple pieces of information to verify your identity. To log into your account, you would need to enter a code which will be sent to your phone, along with your passphrase and password. This added layer of protection can keep hackers from accessing your accounts.

2. Boost Network Security

Make sure your connections are as safe as your logins. At home and work, you probably have a password-protected router. Ensure the password used for your router is unique and complex enough to keep others from guessing the password. With the password, your Internet connection is protected.

However, on the road, using public, free Wi-Fi, you are not protected. If you don't need to login to the network or it has a standard, freely given or easily obtainable login, your connection is not safe. That means it's simple for a hacker to access your information.

Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a piece of software that creates a secure Internet connection. This software will allow you to connect safely from any location.

3. Use a Firewall

If you have a secure network, you should use a firewall. This electronic barrier helps to block unauthorized access to your devices and computers. A firewall is often included with comprehensive security software programs.A firewall can ensure that your connected devices are secure, including Internet of Thing (IoT) devices like webcams and thermostats. Since IoT devices are not equipped with their own security measures, they are a vulnerable entry point for your network.

4. Click Smart

After you have a secured measure in place for your smart tech, ensure you don't invite danger with your careless clicking. Many online threats are based on social engineering and phishing, which is when you're tricked into giving sensitive personal information which is used for fraudulent purposes.

Online quizzes, click bait, phone "free offers, and spam emails are just a few of the tactics used to entice you to give personal information or click on a dangerous link. Be wary of offers that ask for too much information or are too good to be true. If you're not sure of a link, type the address directly into your browser.

5. Selective Sharing

There are many opportunities to share personal information. Be cautious when sharing, mainly when providing personal identity information. People can use this information to guess your logins or passwords, impersonate you, or steal your identity.

6. Protect your Mobile

Mobile devices can be vulnerable to online threats. There are additional risks faced by mobile devices, including dangerous text message links or risky apps.

Be cautious when clicking, only download apps from an official app store and don't respond to stranger's messages. When choosing an app read user' reviews. Also make sure your mobile devices security software is enabled and updated, just as you would for your computer.

7. Practice Safe Shopping and Surfing

When visiting sites for sensitive transactions like online banking or shopping online, make sure the site's address begins with "https" and the browser's URL field has a padlock icon. This symbol indicates the website uses encryption to secure and scramble data to stop others from intercepting your information.

Be on the lookout for a website that has bad grammar and misspellings in the web address. The sites may be copycats or dangerous duplicates of a legitimate site. McAfee SiteAdvisor is a safe search tool that can help you steer clear of these risky sites. There is also sorts of crazy stuff online.

8. Keep Updated

Keep your software updated with the latest security patches. Use automatic updates, so you don't have to think about it. Make sure your security software also runs regular scans.

9. Look for Online Scams

An online threat can evolve. Make sure you know what you're looking for. Ransomware is when a hacker threatens to block access or lock you out of your account unless you pay a ransom. Stay informed so you can keep on top of the latest scams.

10. Keep Your Guard Up.

Make sure you're cautious about your online activities, including which sites you visit and what information you share. Use a comprehensive security program. Make sure you backup your data regularly in case you have a problem. Take preventative measures to save yourself from future headaches.

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