Keeping your family safe online

1. Secure your home Wi-Fi network.

Your home Wi-fi allows your kids to access the internet from all over your house, which makes it harder for you to keep an eye on them. If it’s not secured, intruders might use your bandwidth, or worse, compromise your internet security by infecting your PC with malware or sending their malware attacks from your system. So what to do? Make sure your Wi-Fi highly secured: use a strong password for your router (see rule #7); enable wireless encryption to prevent strangers from “seeing” your network and restrict access to it.

3. Teach your kids and even grandma safe social networking.

First off, if your kid is under 13, don’t let him/her subscribe to social networks, unless they’re for kids. Secondly, teach your family members not to use their full names, birthdays and addresses on their profiles. The less personal info, the better for their internet security. Do not talk about your vacation plans prior to leaving, do not share photos with identifiable details (home street, car licence plate etc.) and do not “check in” to public places. Advise your kids to do the same and talk to them about cyberbullying, predators and stalkers

7. Create safe passwords for your accounts.

A weak password can be easily cracked by any hacker who wants to breach your online accounts and steal precious information or your identity. A basic internet security rule is to create a strong unique password for each online account and change it regularly: make it long (at least eight characters), mix letters, numbers and symbols, and opt for security questions (whenever the possibility is provided) to which only you know the answer.  Teach your family members to do the same.

10. Look for https:// in the URLs of the websites you make online transactions from.

“S” in “https” stands for “secure” and should appear in every bank or online shop address. If grandma or any other family member is a keen online shopper, advise them to always look for this internet security sign and shop from trusted sources. If they find a new cool online shop, have them research it. Also, if you/they bank or shop from your home Wi-fi, make sure it’s secured (see rule #1).