Marian Merritt, Norton’s Internet Safety Advocate, has provided the following top 10 tips for parents and care givers for ensuring young people remain protected online:
Don’t give out your personal information – Don’t put personal details such as your home address, telephone numbers or parent’s work address online as cybercriminals can use this information to create a fake profile with your details
What goes online, stays online – Use privacy settings to make sure only your friends and family can see photos you post. Avoid posting holiday plans as criminals have been known to track your movements
Check your security and privacy settings – Make sure your social network privacy settings are secured so only your friends can see your personal information and use your privacy settings to restrict who can see your posts, videos and photos
Password safety – Sharing your password with your parents is a sensible idea, but avoid sharing your password with your friends, even if they promise they won’t tell anyone! Also, when setting your password, make sure it isn’t something people may guess such as your pet’s name. Use a mixture of letters, numbers and upper and lower case characters
Always protect your mobile device – Make sure your mobile phone is pin-protected so all your personal information stored on it is safe. Download a security app which allows you to remotely wipe any personal data, should your mobile be lost or stolen
Don’t talk to strangers online or offline – Don’t meet up with strangers and let your parents know if a stranger has tried to get in contact with you online. Often people you speak to online may not be who they say they are so only share your personal details on social media sites with friends, family and people you already know in the ‘real’ world
Listen to the adults who know – Adults will always be worried about you. Help set their mind at rest and avoid chatting online with strangers or using the internet so long you neglect your real world activities and real world friends
Be wary of unsecured or unknown websites – When shopping online, use reputable and known retailers. Make sure any transactions you make only take place across secure web pages which you can identify from the padlock sign in your browser address bar and where the address says https
Be careful what links you click on – Avoid clicking links in an email, Instant Message or on your social network unless you are sure the message is from someone you know. Cybercriminals have been known to hack into your friends’ email accounts and social networks to send emails or post messages claiming they are in trouble and asking you totransfer them money. Don’t believe it if it sounds suspicious or offers something unrealistic
Make sure your security software is up to date – Security software is now available on all types of devices; mobile phones, tablets and PCs. Make sure you have the latest security software on your devices to stay protected at all times.
“Safer Internet Day is an annual reminder of how careful we need to be when we are online,” said Marian. “Norton is encouraging individuals to manage their children’s growing online independence by educating them on the many serious dangers on the Internet and to ensure they can surf the web knowing they are protected from the threats out in cyberspace today.”
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