How to keep your kids safe on the PC and other devices

Ah, kids and computers. There is no escaping the fact that our kids are living in a technology centred world, and with it advancing all the time it can sometimes feel like they know more than we do. The internet is such a vast space, it’s no wonder there seems to be hackers lurking around every corner. That means there are the odd occasions where, despite our best efforts, we can all be caught out.

So that begs the question,

How do we keep our kids safe online?

Education

The first thing you can do is make sure your little people are aware of the dangers and risks of the online world. Sounds a bit bleak right? But it’s important on so many levels to check in with them, and make sure they know what to do if someone does send a link (for example).

If they start using gaming chat rooms and accessing online worlds, explaining to them this can leave you vulnerable to outside hackers and what to do if they think they might have encountered one, is absolutely going to be the best way to protect your family and devices.

That of course, will only be successful if your kids actually listen.

Antivirus Software

Making sure you have antivirus software installed on your device and keeping it up to date is another layer of protection that you can use to make sure your PC is as safe as possible. Performing regular scans and health checks can detect potential threats and vulnerabilities, so you can fix them before anyone is able to take advantage.

Don’t click on links from unknown sources.

If your child gets sent a link from an untrusted source, the first rule is don’t click on it. Get your kids to report any links that are sent to you, so that you can investigate before they click.

Has the link come from a trusted source in context to what would be normal for the person sending.

Is the website URL spelt correctly? This is normally a big give away that there is something wrong.

If you are still unsure about the link, contact your IT provider and get them to check it out.

Like with most things, education and prevention can help stop the worst from happening, but if a hacker catches you out, the first rule is don’t panic. They can’t make anything physically happen to your PC, it won’t blow up in front of you. Contact your IT provider (or service provider) straight away, ideally from another device, and they will be able to help!

Phishing

One of the biggest scams that fools the masses is phishing. This will normally be a link of some sort, sent to you via email, that might be mimicking a shop or website that you use often. This catches a lot of people out, as it feels familiar to us. The problem is, when you click on the link, you normally have to log in and once you do, the hackers have your details. They can start using these credentials elsewhere. Which is why you should …

Change your password regularly

And don’t just use ‘Password’. (Believe it or not that’s one of the most common passwords). Use strong and varied passwords too so that even when using a device to unpick your password it will take a long time to do. If you struggle with passwords, try using a random password maker or a trusted password app to help you keep track and create hard to crack passwords.

Use 2 step verification where possible

This is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to your accounts. For the most part, online banking and any payment methods will do this as standard. It’s usually a code sent to your phone or to a different trusted device that you have nominated, that allows you to prove it’s you logging in. Unless you are truly unlucky, the chances of you having your phone on your person is quite high and therefore less chance of the hacker being able to get the one time passcode.

Look for the padlock when searching the web

It’s easy to forget that being online means you can be open to anyone getting into your stuff. Especially when clicking links, look for the padlock that’s normally to the left of the address bar. This combines with ‘HTTPS’ means that any information sent is going through a secure internet line and should therefore be secure.

If something does happen, don’t feel embarrassed or panic. It happens to the best of us (including tech whizz Lee). You can hear more about that here!

Just get in touch with your IT or service provider, and they will be able to sort it out from there.

If you would like some help making sure your devices are fort knox, and would like someone to be there if something does go wrong, book a call with Lee today and see how we can help you.

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