It certainly feels like summer just began, and we hate to be the ones to say it, but the start of another school year is right around the corner. While kids are getting back into the swing of doing homework, researching school projects and participating in after school activities, it’s also likely they will be spending more time on the computer.
In an effort to keep you, your kids and your devices protected from the latest Internet threats, here are some cybersecurity tips for staying safe for the new school year.
- Use strong passwords. Surprisingly, 20 percent of respondents to a survey earlier this year, admitted that they use the same password for all online accounts. To ensure a strong password, follow these steps:
- One account – use a unique password. Do not use this password for any other account.
- Use a password that incorporates letters, numbers and characters, which cannot be guessed. The guideline for this is a password that is 20 characters long.
- Have too many passwords and can’t remember them all? Use a special password manager program to manage your passwords.
- Use safe websites for research
- Make sure your kids know how to protect themselves online
- Talk to your kids. If you are using parental controls, make sure they are aware of the restrictions in place.
- Limit the amount of personal information that is posted.
- Take advantage of privacy and security settings.
- Ask your kids to talk to you if they are having issues with cyberbullying.
Most Internet security software suites offer parental controls, which are great for managing the applications your kids are allowed to download and the time spent on the device while making sure they are communicating with friends and on social networks in a safe way.
- Purchasing a new laptop/computer/tablet? Install comprehensive Internet security software in order to keep your device safe. Most Internet security software suites offer parental controls, which are great for managing the applications your kids are allowed to download and the time spent on the device while making sure they are communicating with friends and on social networks in a safe way.
- Keep software up to date. Applications are constantly being updated to fix bugs and address user issues. You should be updating your apps each time you’re notified to do so to ensure you’re using the best version available.
- It’s the same Internet on a smartphone or tablet. These days, kids are getting smartphones at incredibly young ages, so make sure they are using the devices appropriately. The same content that can be accessed on your desktop can be accessed on a smartphone or any connected device.
- Encourage your kids to only browse trusted apps and websites and be careful about the personal information divulged on them – like a credit card number, home address, phone number, etc.
- To keep your devices protected while browsing, be sure you’re using a dependable security platform for both smartphones and tablets to ensure safety.
- Make sure your kids never leave their devices unattended. Nationwide, stolen smartphones account for 33% of all robberies.