The technology around the internet has progressed extensively. Yet, it still isn’t perfect. There are some flaws, flaws which some questionable individuals use for illegal activities. Whilst the governments are working on arresting them and the cybersecurity firms are working on taking away those flaws, we as parents shall do our part in keeping our family protected from the horrors of the internet. Here are some tips to improve your security.
Any hardware that you use that is connected to the internet needs to be secured. This includes your phones, laptops, Smart TVs, Smart Watches, literally everything beginning with “Smart”, routers, et cetera.
- Yes, I did say router. A standard router from a standard brand will give your Wifi network some good protection so that it isn’t prone to piggybacking by anyone else.
- Keep your PCs and Laptops password protected and keep your passwords strong. Invest a dime in a decent premium antivirus softwares and run a scan regularly, I promise you get enough bang for the buck.
- Smartphones and Tablets – your smartphone needs so much attention to security. Have a strong pin or fingerprint for screen lock, have applock to conceal all important apps, activate ‘find my phone’ option in case you lose your phone, sync all your personals to your google/icloud account. Think thrice about downloading files from unsecure sites and pirate sources. Frequently run antivirus scans to eliminate threats. Use apps that scan the phone for malware and spyware. Delete all bloatware (if any) in your smartphone. Read before pressing “allow all”, think if the app really needs such permissions, always leave permission for camera, microphone, photos and location at “Always ask”.
- Other smart devices – Install all security patch updates regularly, do not download content from unsecure sources.
Browser and Browsing:
- Always use a trusted browser from an established developer, like Safari, Chrome, Edge, FIrefox and Opera.
- Enable web protection in your antivirus software.
- Always clear cache and cookies periodically.
- Always leave microphone, camera and location permissions at “Always ask”.
- Block ads and pop-ups.
- Do not download extensions from untrustworthy developers.
- Never save passwords
- Do not surf in unsecure websites.
- Do not download content from unsecure and pirate sites.
Apps and Games:
- Do not download apps or games from external sources. Always stick with Playstore/Appstore.
- Do not download apps with very low ratings.
- Cautiously allow only the necessary app permissions. For example, a mobile game does not need access to your photos, contacts or camera. So, deny the unnecessary permissions.
- Do not enter your bank credentials, credit/debit card details in order to make an in-app purchase.
- Delete apps showing inappropriate pop-ups and ads.
- While using mobile banking apps, make sure no other app has drawn over the screen, like Facebook messenger.
Child Safety tools:
- Get a good parental control software like Google Family Link or Kaspersky Safe Kids.
- Block all inappropriate sites for your child’s device, block all pop-ups and ads.
- Monitor all search and download history.
- Regulate screen time on social media and entertainment sites.
Social Networking sites:
- Keep your social media profiles private and locked for the public’s eyes.
- Protect your profile pictures from being downloaded.
- Do not add strangers/suspicious profiles to your friends.
- Report inappropriate inbox messages.
- Do not share your location on your social networks.
- Do not share any personal details on social media.
- Do not share personal items with online friends.
Banking Websites and E-commerce:
- Ensure the website is an authentic one, because most popular banking and e-commerce sites all have fakes.
- Refrain from using a virtual keyboard for entering passwords or other credentials.
- Do not share your bank, credit, and debit credentials with a stranger.
Many people are intrigued by the idea of the darknet and are able to find the basic steps and domains of some darknet sites quite easily. However, entering the darknet will automatically flag your IP address to your government and you might face severe consequences. The thrilling stories you keep hearing about the darknet may or may not be true but do not take the risk of finding out yourself.
These preliminary steps will keep you 99% safe from the dark side of the internet.However, one can never be completely sure of it. Hence everyone including children should remain vigilant while being online to avoid cyber-risks.