Top Tips for Protecting Your Family Online

There are so many fun, educational games and apps for kids online over the Christmas period. Now Max is four, I think some of them could be perfectly suitable for him to try. Older kids might be spending more time online this Christmas to pass the time while school is out. As parents, we’re all determined to keep our kids safe online. But they don’t always recognise adverts or high-cost purchase links. It’s important to keep your details safe from hackers and unscrupulous advertisers.

To do this, start by always supervising your kids online. Pick games and activities that are for two players. As popups and adverts appear, explain to your kids what they are and why you don’t want them to be clicked on. Your children will grasp the concept and format of this quite quickly, and will avoid them.

Another way to avoid clicking on links you don’t want is to only use apps and games that are offline. However, few games run without an internet connection. And those that earn no income from advertising will charge you to download the app. However, paying for good quality educational apps is far cheaper than the cost of your personal and financial details being hacked.

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Lots of us use our home laptops for work. We browse through hundreds of websites and click on dozens of links every day. Protection for your computer comes in the form of Operating System updates and your own Anti-Virus software. You can even subscribe to online protection services like LifeLock to ensure you are safe.

Try not to use the same password for every account. You might even prefer to set up different email accounts for different purposes. For example, use one for online shopping, but a different one for emailing friends and family. You could use a third one for your bank account or other sensitive contacts.

We use internet connectivity every day. Our smartphones are almost always online. Our TVs are Smart too. And lots of us stream TV, films and music every day. Baby monitors often connect to the internet to stream video and sound from your nursery too. And who could live without connecting online through social media?

If someone wanted to hack our devices it could be a huge invasion of privacy. And then there is always the possibility of hacking into your online and bank accounts. It is so important to ensure you and your family are safe from this risk.

Your activity online is usually the only way a hacker can infiltrate your systems and accounts. Don’t ever open emails you don’t recognise. Send them straight to Trash. And don’t visit websites you’re not sure about either. Try not to click on any links without being sure they are genuine. You can usually see where a link goes in small text at the bottom left of the screen. Just hover over the link to see it. This works for email contacts too to see who they really are.

Most advertisements on reputable websites are genuine and safe to click. So are most links. Just be wary of any that look suspicious, and stay safe online.

Rebecca x

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