Safer Internet Day is on 9th February this year, and is as good a day as any to double check what your children know about staying safe online. In the digital age that we now live, this really couldn’t be more important and I am working with Intel Security this week, to give you a little refresher course on how to stay safe and keep your children safe.
Teaching them how to stay safe online, should be something that is taught as naturally as crossing the road safely is. There are a few key things you can teach them as soon as they start going online, as to whether that is on a laptop, iPad or even a games console.
- Never tell anyone your real name
- Do not tell anyone where you live, what school you go to, your phone number, or mention any local places you like to go to
- If you are ever unsure about anything, worried, or someone has said something online (or in real life) that makes you uncomfortable or upset – tell your parents or an adult that you trust
- Never send any photos to anyone online
- Never tell anyone your password or login details
- Not all people claiming to be children are children
Now with the last one, it depends on what age your child is as to how much of an explanation you give. You don’t want to scare them off of using the internet, it’s a wonderful thing when used safely. For most children, being told that there are some not very nice people out there is enough.
Intel Security asked my boys to draw what they thought was a safe internet, here’s Harley’s picture.
Harley thought a safer internet would be to use symbols in your passwords to make them harder to guess – a very good tip, not answering Whatsapp calls from people you don’t know, and asking your parents if a website is safe before clicking on it and using it if it wasn’t one you usually use.
Fin thought that a safer internet would not only be all of the things his brother said, but also where friends look out for each other and tell each other to ignore any ‘trolls’.
I’m actually very proud to know that they know so much about keeping safe on the internet, and relieved although I will still be doing my usual spot checks of their history, cookies, and youtube playlists.
For parents, as well as making sure your child knows all of the things above, you can also do a few things to keep them safe;
- Keep the computer/laptop whatever is used to go online in a communal area of the house, so that you can keep a check on what sites they are going on and that they seem happy
- Most search engines have a safe search option that will filter out the more ‘adult’ search results, and hopefully minimise the risk of your child seeing something they shouldn’t.
- Read some more tips on the NSPCC website.
It also isn’t only children and young adults who need protecting online. Most adults will know of someone who has had their computer hacked, their card details stolen or worse online. To protect ourselves there are a few things we can do.
We can buy and use software such as True Key from Intel Security, so that it takes our fingerprint or face to log in – these are impossible to clone or steal. Your information will be a lot safer if only you can access it.
There is also Mcafee LiveSafe from Intel Security, to protect you online. I have used Mcafee for a long time as a virus protector, and one of the biggest benefits of LiveSafe is that you can use it to protect all of your family’s devices including smart phones and more. Considering many children would click on a pop up without knowing what it was or where it went, it’s a sensible move to protect everything and everyone.
As a reward for you all having an internet safety refresher course, Intel Security are running a competition for one lucky family to win 4 tickets to Bletchley Park, which you can enter via the rafflecopter below! Good luck,
*This post is sponsored by Intel Security, but all thoughts and tips are my own and honest*