5 Online Safety Tips for Parents by Trend Micro’s Cyber Mom, Carol Carpenter:
- Communication is key: Talk to your kids about the sites they frequent like music downloading and social networking sites and instruct them to stay away from the “red buttons” of the internet like banner ads for casting calls for movies. These types of flashing ads are often recreated by cybercriminals as threats in disguise.
- Imitation, not just a form of flattery: Kids want to do what their parents do. Visit educational sites and illustrate how the internet is chock-full of literature, current events, educational games and more. Encourage them to watch over your shoulder when browsing.
- Parental Controls: Do not underestimate the filter. Kids like to explore and go where they are not supposed to – it’s the same in the virtual world. Get in the habit of checking your settings on a regular basis. Be sure to block sites with inappropriate material and make sure your security password is different than the password to your computer.
- Think before you link: Today’s most popular social networking sites often have little privacy as the default. Try to limit posting personal information about yourself and your kids. Also, think twice before clicking on shortened links, it’s always better to copy the URL into your browser to ensure it’s a secure site.
- First line of defense: Make sure you have completely up-to-date Internet security software. Trend Micro is releasing its most updated computer software early next month to help protect families from the newest, most malicious threats.
Disclosure: I was asked by the PR firm that handles Trend Micro’s publicity to post these tips, but I am posting them at my own accord because I think that their message is very important.