As the end of summer approaches, we begin gearing up to get our kids ready to head back to school. Soon pools will be closing, sandals will be packed away and out will come the backpacks as your children prepare to begin another new school year. And your kids aren’t only prepared with a pen and paper in hand, they are now carrying their laptops, tablets and mobile phones with them to class, using them to complete their assignments as well as socialize with their friends. With these digital devices, however, come risks when your kids turn to them to help research homework topics or download the latest music buzzing around their social circles. So what do you need to do to ensure your children are safe from the download dangers that are out there?
Talk To Them: The first step you should be taking to protect your children is talking to them. Keeping an open line of communication about digital safety is key. Let them know about the dangers that are out there when they’re online and the potential harm that could come from accidentally downloading corrupt files. Irresponsible downloading could lead to an infected computer or phone, which could take them offline. Is downloading and catching up on last night’s new episode of their favorite television show really worth possibly corrupting their laptop, keeping them from their beloved social networks? The threat of being disconnected from their friends may actually be a solid defense for you.
Use A Trusted Antivirus: Of course, your absolute safest form of defense will come from using a strong antivirus product. We recommend installing Kaspersky Pure 3.0 or Kaspersky Internet Security on your kids’ devices to give yourself piece of mind when they’re online.
Embrace Parental Control Settings: One of the benefits of using a product, like Kaspersky Pure 3.0, is the ability to set up strict parental controls. You can use the settings offered in a few different ways.
- One option you have is to prevent your children from downloading specific file types. You may select specific categories of resources you wish to block them from accessing. This way, whenever your child tries to access a banned category, a message will appear notifying the user that the requested URL cannot be accessed.
- You may also choose to block access to specific sites altogether. If you know of sites your kids or their friends are using to download things like illegal music or movies, block them!
- If you’re taking the time to set up parental controls, you might want to password protect those settings as well. This will ensure your settings are not changed or adjusted by anyone, like a teenager looking to gain quick access to a site you’ve deemed unsafe.
Restrict Data Sharing: It’s bad enough to imagine your child downloading music or TV shows from an illegal website that could potentially spread malware to their computer. Now imagine they’ve previously been given access to your credit card information for legal downloads and purchases. What if your card number is then taken and used on other, less trustworthy sites by one of your kids? The best solution would be to not allow them access to your personal data, like your credit card numbers, to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. Likewise, you should make sure your kids aren’t sharing their own personal information online when trying to download anything. Again, communication is key here, so talk to them.
Provide Trusted Resources: If you believe your kids are going to download materials regardless of your warnings, you should consider providing them with a list of safe websites. Spend time researching trusted sites that offer the materials they are looking for, whether it’s academic resources or music, movies and shows.
It can be difficult for kids to always remember the dangers lurking online when downloading items is so easy these days. As a parent, you are responsible for taking the preventative measures needed to keep them secure, so take the time to do so before the new school year rolls around to guarantee a smooth transition into the fall.