Be savvy on internet safety

Computer Keyboard with symbolic padlock key

The world wide web can be a scary place – you only need to look at the news on a daily basis to see there is some frightening things out there.

Thankfully, there is help at hand. Ironically from the internet itself. I came across this very helpful link just last week http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2016 . I’ll leave you to peruse this in your own time though.

I have been reflecting on safety a lot and as a web developer I always have to have that at the forefront of my work. Plus, I am a father of two so no surprise I do have concerns about modern technologies in the hands of my nearest and dearest.

We all want to protect our family, whether it is in the confines of our own home with smoke alarms, burglar alarms, gates, locks etc… but have you seriously considered that while the house is safe from physical intrusion, right there on your dining table or sofa lays a device through which the worst nightmares can have access to everything you care for so much.

I am not trying to scare anyone here; it’s time to be responsible. Times have changed and whether you like it or not the danger these days is most likely to come from within your household rather than from outside.

Enough of the scary stuff; here’s some tips now on what can you do to protect your life from the “dark web”.

  1. Become a net-savvy parent

The best safeguard against online dangers is being informed. Jump in and learn the basics of the Internet—read articles, take a class, talk to other parents. You don’t have to be an expert to have a handle on your child’s online world.

  1. Chat with your kids

Develop an open dialogue so you can talk with your children about the benefits and dangers of the Internet. Don’t be afraid to ask your children who they are talking to online and what they are talking about.

  1. Agree on some rules

Propose some guidelines for using the Internet. Post them near the family computer as a reminder.  For example:

  1. We will never give out personal information such as our last name, address or phone number.
  2. We all agree to not give our passwords to anyone outside of our family.
  3. I will never meet an online friend in person.
  4. I will tell my mom or dad right away if I come across something that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  5. I will not remain on or click on a page that says, “For Over 18 Years Only.”
  6. I will only download pictures and files with my parent’s permission.
  7. I will not send pictures of my family or myself to anyone online.
  1. Protect your computer

Take advantage of the software that exists to help parents manage their children’s computer experience. In only a few minutes and parental control can block inappropriate websites, restrict the amount of time that your kids use the Internet and monitor their Instant Messenger chats to protect against predators. There is plenty of tools to protect not only your children but your own privacy and online/offline assets too.

  1. Explore the Internet as a family

With agreed rules in place and devices protected, you and your family can safely take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Take a genuine interest in what your kids are doing and stay engaged with them online. Be responsible, don’t underestimate the danger; go and expand on this research; you already spend thousands on other security measures; all you have to invest here is your time.

Follow the tips above and your security should make the internet a safer place.

Damian Budny is a Creative Thinker and Web Developer at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

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