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Online Safety Tips For Kids When Getting Back To School

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It’s that time again! Schools and Teachers are preparing for kids to return, parents are picking up supplies and planning schedules. While adjusting to getting back to school makes your household busy, there should be some priority regarding assuring your kids’ devices are safe and secure.

It starts by reminding your kids about online threats, surfing safely, cyber bullying and being cautious, as well as looking out for scams and hackers with bad intentions of exploiting kids’ systems. Luckily, by taking the necessary steps to advise your kids of safe practices and providing the appropriate software protection, you can lower the probability of your kids running into issues. Nothing is 100% foolproof, as it’s a cat and mouse chase when it comes to dealing with security. Reminding your kids of the best practices can be crucial in helping them with decisions that may protect them in the event they face trouble. This includes their system being affected and cyberbullying, amongst other inappropriate activities.

Here are 5 steps you can take to help protect your kids while online:

1) Assure their desktop, laptop and mobile devices have the appropriate anti-virus software installed and updated. Yep, I said phone as well. Hackers are targeting mobile devices more and more these days. It’s imperative to have all devices protected. Many anti-virus applications come with suite capabilities allowing multi-device protection.

2) Educate your kids on phishing. Adults aren’t the only ones that get affected by this. Kids can fall prey to phishing email attacks and bogus links that lead to their devices being compromised. Advising your kids to not click on emails they receive, that they didn’t request, or that look suspicious, is a start. Showing an adult the email is a good additional line of defense in identifying whether it’s legit or not.

3) Pay attention concerning cyberbullying. Unfortunately, this is occurring more and more in society today and kids are falling victim to being bullied by others. Many times these situations go unnoticed. Kids may be reluctant to say anything to an adult for fear of retaliation. It’s very important to let your kid know your door is always open and you’re here to support them if they are ever bullied. Taking immediate action could prevent a situation from getting worse.

4) Assure that your kids have strong passwords. Utilizing case sensitivity and symbols is the best form of security, and do not use the same passwords for all of the systems they access, whether school or personally related. Hackers relish the opportunity to exploit a simple password and access all online services and email so as to discover that they have the same access password. So, educate your kids on being creative. Configure locking mechanisms on their devices requiring a password or code login after X number of minutes of inactivity and 2FA login protection.

5) Finally, limit your kids access to gaming, social media, and excessive online time outside of school related work. Encourage them to get out and about, exercise, play sports and participate in other physical activities. Even taking them to the mall to shop is a good way to get them physically moving. It’s super important for kids to physically condition. It helps them focus, and like adults they have their own form of stress that needs releasing.

I hope this helps you and your kids with awareness and potentially protecting you against today’s latest and greatest security threats related to online technology. Need help configuring parental control or an anti-virus solution for your family or business? Reach out to us for an assessment of your needs and one of our qualified and helpful consultants will contact you to go over options. Do you find our articles helpful? Please spread the word, like our page and review our website for more information on us. Our newsletters are FREE with no strings attached.