The internet is its own world, vast with resources and brimming with possibility. It has helped launch careers, build community, find like-minded friends, and discover new opportunities. The internet is a platform for whatever we want to build online, but it can equally be used for great harm. Cyberbullying is rampant, online stalking is too easy, and sometimes it feels like the ads that pop up online know you better than your closest friends do.
Is the opportunity and connection we find on the internet worth the threat of online danger?
At Kosciusko Connect, we provide fast fiber connection to the internet, and we believe that it’s possible to enjoy the benefits of existing online while staying safe and protecting your family. In this blog, we’ll provide five helpful online safety tips.
Threats online vary from identity theft to online scams to unwarranted inappropriate content. So how do you ensure your family’s safety as everyone peruses their own corner of the internet?
One of the most important things you can do is know who has access to your information on each app and website. It’s especially important to educate your kids on the apps they use and warn them against interactions with strangers. There are so many platforms for strangers to easily view your location and personal information without your knowledge, and these online interactions can often seem harmless.
No matter how innocent a dialogue can be, take the time to do your research and encourage awareness in your family when it comes to internet safety. Whenever you’re on a new website, check to make sure there’s a padlock by the URL so that you know your web browser’s connection is encrypted and can’t be viewed by anyone online with harmful intent.
Have you ever received an unassuming email with a simple request that seems a little off?
No matter whom you think sent a link or URL in a message to you, check with that individual before you click on the link if you have any doubts about its authenticity. Phishing messages can appear under any name they want, and you can never be too safe when it comes to online scam prevention.
It can be easy to formulate a memorable password and use it for your online banking and your tax management account, alongside your favorite gaming app and your Facebook login. But we’re much more vulnerable than we think when we settle for this lack of security.
It’s important to diversify your passwords, across all platforms that require a login. Whenever you create a password for an online login, make sure it has at least 12 characters, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols for sufficient security. This is your first defense against a hacker, and it can be extremely effective if you manage it well.
Inform your family about online hackers, and suggest that they avoid including names, numbers, and words that are related to personal information in their password. If you’re nervous about keeping track of your passwords, try using a credible and protected app or tool to keep track for you. A trusted tool can conceal your passwords in an encrypted vault, protecting them under a single password that you have memorized and change regularly.
We also suggest using two-factor authentication whenever it’s an option for your online logins, especially those protecting financial information.
Social media can feel like a safe space to share what’s going on in our lives and display our favorite photos from the last family vacation. While this is a great way to connect with people, keep in mind that social media is just as vulnerable to online attacks as other applications or websites are.
To keep your accounts secure, remember to question any messages you receive that seem random or automatic, especially if it’s from someone you haven’t heard from in a while. Whenever you or a family member posts something, check to make sure that there is nothing too revealing about your location, schedule, or personal life.
Read up on social media terms and agreements to see what personal information the app is allowed to share with other users and know what social media apps have access to your camera, microphone, and photo library. This research should be routine since social media platforms often update their privacy and permission settings. It doesn’t hurt to check your settings every time an app updates to ensure your privacy preferences haven’t changed without your knowledge.
Despite many people’s fears around these apps, there are ways to use social media for fun and connection without compromising your online safety. Healthy technology use can be developed when it comes to social media or any other addicting apps.
Your online connection is never guaranteed complete safety, no matter how careful you are. But don’t worry! With Guardian’s network security, you’ll be able to see everything that threatens any of your connected devices. When you add Guardian to the Kosciusko Connect app, it blocks security threats from your devices daily, and you’ll be able to view exactly what is attempting to access your network.
With Guardian, you can also have access to your kids’ devices to see what they’re viewing and what apps might be putting them at risk. Guardian is not just a tool for blocking scammers – it’s a way to create peace of mind every time you log onto the internet for any purpose. Your family deserves to be safe wherever they are, and Guardian is fully equipped to help you ensure the online well-being of your whole home. You can also better manage cyberbullying with Guardian's parental controls.
Learn more about Guardian on our website and check out more advice for navigating tech use with your kids.
This blog was supplemented by content from us.norton.com.