Technology has evolved beyond the control of an average person. It has significantly improved many aspects of our lives. But what about the risks it comes with? A report from PCMag says that 76 percent of the parents are worried about the online safety of their kids. Cybercrimes are on their rise, and both kids and adults can become a victim of them.
All parents want the best for their kids. After choosing from the best Frontier packages, your next goal should be to improve the Internet safety of you and your family. We have put together this guide to assist you with this goal:
Educate Your Kids about Cybersecurity and Online Threats
We all agree that prevention is better than cure. Hence, the very first line of defense to protect your family against cybercrimes is to educate them. Use simple language to explain to them about online threats and ways to identify them. Tell them about safe browsing, malicious sites, cyberbullying and other types of threats that exist online.
Pick Strong Usernames and Passwords
One significant and overlooked online threat is leaving your accounts vulnerable. Remembering multiple and hard passwords is difficult and that’s why many of us choose simple ones like “123456” or “Password123.” They are very easy to crack and that is exactly why you must avoid them.
Your password must always be a combination of special characters, alphabets, and numbers. Do not use the same passwords for all your accounts. If you have trouble remembering them, use password managers. They help you generate strong passwords and store them all in one place.
When it comes to setting username, never use your real name, last name, date of birth, address or phone number.
Keep Your Computer Updated and Clean
An infected computer is a dangerous thing. It does not just mean you could have your data corrupted by viruses, but you could lose your personal information, too. It is imperative for everyone in the family to have a firewall and anti-virus software installed on their computers. These programs clean and protect your systems from online threats.
A firewall keeps unwanted programs as well as intruders away from your system. It offers complimentary security even if you have anti-virus software installed. It keeps hackers at bay. Which means your personal and confidential information will be safe.
Follow Online Shopping Best Practices
Online shopping is everyone’s favorite activity these days. But watch out, your credit card information may land in the hands of the wrong retailer. Follow these best practices for safer shopping experience:
- Stick to those retailers only who you know. Before shopping from a new retailer, read customer reviews to learn about their experience.
- Once you have finished shopping, log out of the session and close the browser. Follow this rule especially if you are using a public computer to shop online.
- Before entering your payment information, make sure the server is secure. Look for “https://” in their web address.
- It is safer to use a credit card than a debit card for online payment. Why? Because on an unauthorized charge on a credit card, as per the federal law, your liability is limited to $50.
Practice Instant Messaging Safety
Instant Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, etc are a popular means of communication. Frontier Internet Plans have made it more convenient for us to use them on the go from our mobile devices. Keep in mind, they are not secure. Set rules in your house regarding how to use IMs. Advise your kids to never send confidential information through these apps.
Watch Out For Phishing Scams
Cybercrooks are always looking for ways to steal your usernames, passwords, PINS, credit card info, etc. An easy way for them to do that is to send spam messages through email, text messages, and sometimes even comments on social networks. Be alarm about donations, giveaways, lottery wins, etc. When you receive such messages, look for grammar or spelling errors. Never click on the links in the messages. They are usually a part of Internet security scams. Teach your family members to do the same.
Set Rules and Boundaries
Enforce online safety rules and guidelines at home. For instance, limit the time your children spend on the Internet. Notice if they are developing an addiction to it by staying online for too long. The rules you set should clearly define what your kids can and cannot do when they are using the web. You can also use parental controls to monitor and control their Internet usage.
Improve Your Family’s Mobile Device Security
Mobile malware has grown ever since the use of smartphones has grown. Your personal information is at the risk of interception if you connect it with unencrypted public Wi-Fi hotspots. Your device can become infected with malware and your personal information can hence be compromised. It is paramount to educate your family about the dangers of mobile Internet. Such as:
- Don’t connect to free public Wi-Fi
- Never accept software updates when you are on the road
- Turn off your GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi when you are not using them
- Never leave your mobile device unattended
Ensure Safe Online Gaming for Your Kids
Kids are fond of live gaming all thanks to tech innovations such as Xbox Live. Along with playing online, they interact with their friends, too. But this can expose them to Internet dangers like cyberbullying or online predators. To avoid that, educate your children not to reveal they are true identity. Have them use an avatar and a nickname. Use parental controls and safety measures offered by game consoles for further protection.
Back Up Your Information
Everyone has some personal data that’s precious to them. It could be photos or documents. Develop a habit of creating data backup regularly. Use cloud storage or an external hard drive to store the backup data. Creating a backup means you are creating another copy of your precious data. And it’s always handy to have a second copy!
Frontier FiOS Internet Plans are indeed a blessing for families. But unsecured Internet usage comes with a heavy price. Stick to this guide for improving the Internet safety of your loved ones.