Tag Archives: online safety

Are you a smart cyber surfer? Check out tips to surf safe online.

Technology is extremely addicting because it provides immediate feedback, connects us and entertain us. We visit several new/unknown websites almost everyday. Also, download tons of information. As a netizen, we need to be careful about what we download and what we click. The links can content virus or can try to read personal information without our permission. So we need to be a smart netizen while surfing online.

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Here are some tips that will keep you safe online:

-Protect yourself online: Use a comprehensive security tool to warn you if you try to visit risky sites or links. It will also prevent you from downloading infected content and continually identify and remove malware that has managed to enter the system

-Sites like Google & BING continually do virus checks. So stick to them while surfing online.

-Password protect all devices

-Pop-ups might look very rewarding and tempting. They might offer you tickets/ money/ free downloads and much more. But the smart way to stay online is to IGNORE them!

-Stick to official and known websites

-Fake profile: Learn how to figure out if it’s a fake profile. Here are some tips for the same. https://besocialmediawise.com/2013/07/18/how-to-spot-fake-profile-on-a-website/

-Watching out for “free” stuff. Free games, ring tones, or other downloads can hide malware.

-Email attachments are the primary source of virus infection. Nowadays, someone can also send emails with harmful content using your friend’s email address and your friend isn’t aware of the same . Use caution when deciding whether to click a link in a message, particularly if the message body seems non- specific, such as a message reading “Check out our my birthday photos”. So think before to click!

-Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you start downloading.

Do visit the Wise Netizen Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UseSocialMediaWisely and www.wisenetizen.com for online safety guides, tips, videos and posters.

#HappySurfing!

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How to Stop Your Child’s Computer Addiction

 

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Technology is extremely addicting because it provides immediate feedback, connects us and entertain us. Along with us, our kids are also getting connected to the internet at very young age. Soon they will also start using the internet just like us. This means that it’s important for parents to make sure that they monitor their children’s online activities and make sure that, kids don’t get addicted to the internet.

If you feel that your child is getting addicted to internet activities like playing games online or chatting, make sure you take appropriate actions as too much of internet usage can lead to problems like declining grade, depression, a declining in overall development of your child.

1) Talk with your child about his/her excessive computer usage: Children often interpret questions about their behavior as blame and criticism.Tell your child that you are concerned about some of the changes you have seen in his/her behavior and interest, like declining grades, giving up hobbies. Make him understand that he should have a proper plan/schedule . Especially during exam-time, help your child in planning a proper timetable which includes revising, increasing study hours and limiting the use if internet.

2) Keep the computer in a public area of your home, such as the living room, so that you can check on what your child is doing online and how much time he is spending there.

3) Set a password for the computer so that only you can log on to it. However, I will not recommend this for older children.

4) Find out how bad your child’s addiction is, and what exactly your child is addicted to – like Is he addicted to playing online games or chatting or watching videos.

5) Replace the time that your child would normally spend on the computer with other activities – take him to the library a park, get them together with friends. During exam time, encourage him to go out for walks instead of playing online games, surfing the internet or watching TV during breaks.

6) Become more computer-savvy and join social networks: Checking history folders and Internet logs, learning about monitoring software, and installing filters all require a degree of computer savvy. Parents need to be comfortable with the computer. Take an active interest in the Internet and learn about websites which your child visits.

7) Rules for internet usage:
Establish clear boundaries for limited Internet usage. Allow perhaps an hour per day after homework, with a few extra weekend hours. Stick to your rules and remember that you’re not simply trying to control him.

8) Lead by Example
Don’t spend hours on the computer when your children are home. Also, adhere to internet usage rules you have decided for your family.

Hope these tips help you and your child. Happy Parenting #cybersafety #wisenetizen

Take Care

Sonal 🙂

 

 

7 Tips to Teach Your Kids About Email

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Its a rite of passage, like your child’s first sleep over or walking home from school without help- at some point your kids will ask for and need an email account.  But with an email account comes a how-to on proper do’s and don’t’s on sending out emails.  Just like everything else in life, its a learning curve.

When opening an email account for your kids, its important to go over some basics. Hopefully these few suggestions will make the transition easy and slick.

  • Just like on social media, sharing too much is NOT a good thing.  Set your child down and let them know that its not okay to pass around their email address to everyone. Only allowing a few contacts should suffice.  Also, make sure your child knows its not okay for their friends to share their address either, like signing up for various services or  random accounts.
  • All emails will be forwarded to YOU the parent/guardian.  This way your child knows whatever comes into their inbox will be read by you.
  • Sometimes emails aren’t from real people.  Auto-responses or error messages don’t need a response.
  • Never send an image or text that you wouldn’t want grandma to see or read.  This is just a safe rule across the board- from emails to texting to social media.
  • Teach them the difference between CC (carbon copy) and BCC (blind carbon copy) and how there are appropriate times for both.
  • They don’t need to keep ALL of their emails.  They can delete them and clean up their inbox.
  • Make sure they use proper spelling, sentences structure and punctuation.  Emails are a little more thorough than texting so its okay to spen a little more time on them.  Remind them that you will get and receive everything they send and get in their inbox- so use kind language.

Emails are a great way to communicate, and with a little guidance your kids can be a pro!

KidsEmail is a great tool for any first time email account.  Not only are our safety settings user friendly, they protect your child from unseen dangers. A KidsEmail account is a great way for children to learn how to use technology in a safe environment, where parents can give their kids a little freedom while maintaining safety and control.  Try it today for free!

What can I tell my child to do if he or she is being cyberbullied?

images (1)                           No To Cyberbullying

Victims of cyberbullying are in a vulnerable state, it is important to make sure that parents respond to their child in a proper manner and take effective steps to resolve the problem.

Acknowledge your child’s pain. If your child did not come to you right away, do not blame, just let them know you are grateful they have come to you now. Tell your children that you won’t blame them if they are cyberbullied. Emphasize that you won’t take away their laptops or phones – this is the main reason kids don’t tell adults when they are cyberbullied.

A) Your first step is to listen to your child without being judgmental.
Here are the details which parents should ask their child in a gentle manner:
1) How long the cyberbullying has been going on.
2) The names of those involved (if known),
3)The forms of cyberbullying used.
4) If there is evidence of the cyberbullying such as saved text messages or posts. Or if the content is still online.

B) If you are able to identify the cyberbully, you should contact his parents or notify your child’s school if the cyberbully is also a student there. If the cyberbullying included a realistic physical threat of harm report it to your local law authority (cyber cell) immediately. Report this case of cyberbullying to the website used.

C) Educate your child about cyberbullying. And ask him to take these steps whenever he feels that he is cyberbullied:
1-Sign off the computer
2-Don’t respond or retaliate.
3-Block the bully.
4-Save and print out bullying messages.
5-Tell a trusted adult (parent or teacher)

D) Manage stress. Spending time in nature, listening to music or watching a movie are great ways to let off the stress for both kids and adults. Ask him to stay positive.

E) If you have not set in-house online safety rules, implement them on urgent basis. Make sure your child understands that these rules are for his online safety. Click here to know more on tips on setting up these rules.

F) Depending on how deeply the cyberbullying has impacted your child, you may also choose to set up an appointment with a counselor.

By keeping these tips in mind, you and your child can make sure that such incident doesn’t happen again in future.Make your family, cyber smart & stay safe online.

Take Care 🙂
Sonal

PS: Download a #Internet Safety poster for your child. This will help him to remember the #cybersafety guidelines. Download posters now!

How can I protect my child from watching adult content on the Internet?

The Internet is a huge database. It stores a lot of information which can be read and used by all of us. Some content is not appropriate for children, we call it “Adult content”. On the Internet, websites featuring pornography or other content which you don’t want your children to see are just one click away. Children can also be exposed to adult content via links sent to them through an email or chat.

 

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Here are few tips which parents need to implement  to prevent their children from watching adult content on the internet:

  • Install blocking, filtering, and monitoring software in order to block pop-ups, restrict access to sites with adult content and see which sites your child visits.
  • Discuss your family values with your child and be clear about what he needs to watch on the internet. Have open conversations about adult content online and explain your child about your  thoughts  on pornography.
  • Set rules on usage of internet and social media website. Example: time period for which he can be online, which website he will register, ensure that the age limits are followed diligently. Learn about the warning signs of trouble like disruption of daily schedule, meals, studies drop in grades. Make sure that everyone in your family follows the rules seriously.
  • Ask regularly: “Have you used the computer and the Internet today? Share a bit about your daily Social Media activity, use it in a way to facilitate daily conversation about your child online habits.
  •  Keep the computer in a public area of your home, such as the living room, so that you can check on what your child is doing online and how much time he is spending there.
  • Make sure that your child is not viewing appropriate pages by looking at the Internet browser’s history or make sure they are not deleting the history to hide what they are viewing. Look at the browser address bar or location bar for additional information about what was typed in the browser address bar.
  • Encourage your child to come to you or another trusted adult if he or she encounters inappropriate material. They might encounter an adult content unknowingly too
  • Parental controls and adult content filters can be fairly complex, and are not always 100% effective. If you feel your child has an addiction to pornography it will take more than filters to work through it. You need to have a proper discussion with him. If required, see a specialist counsellor to help you and your teen.
  • The simplest way to restrict adult content is to make one device child-friendly and other  sure all other devices are not accessible by your child.
  • When you find out that your child has seen pornography, keep calm. Understand that teens will have a natural curiosity about nudity and sex.

Here are some options which you can use  to filter adult content. But remember any apps that contain adult content like Facebook, Tumblr, Vine and Instagram will not be protected by safe search set up on Browsers:

OpenDNS has a free adult content filter, where you can restrict adult sites. It can be set up on a computer though setting the D.N.S settings to OpenDNS, or you can set up your home internet modem so that it covers all devices connected to the Wi-Fi. Instructions are all on the OpenDNS website. However, OpenDNS does not filter adult content that can be found through Google images. OpenDNS will prevent your child from accessing some adult sites, but won’t hide some pornographic images.

To set up Google safe search simply navigate to http://www.google.com/preferences and tick (enable) “Turn On Safe Search” It’s also best to Lock the Safe Search setting on also by clicking “Lock Safe Search” you will then be asked to log into your Google Account to enable locking. If locking it doesn’t work, make sure you have cookies enabled in your search engines preferences.You can also set safe search preferences on Bing.com and Yahoo.com

There are other softwares that can help you to monitor child’s internet activity like Netnanny and K9 web protection.

 

Happy Surfing! Happy Parenting!

Take Care 🙂

Sonal

PS: Visit www.wisenetizen.com  and use free resources for educating your child about #cybersafety.

Online shopping tips!

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Let’s face it, there’s every reason in the world to shop online. The bargains are there. We get the product right at our door-step. There are plenty of options. Even returns are quiet easy.

But there are alway some risks attached to it. You need to keep few basic things in mind while you shop online. Here are 11 tips for staying safe while your shopping online :

1) Start with a reputated website:

Share payment information only with known or reputable vendors. Start with a trusted site rather than shopping with any random website. Beware of misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain name like .org instead of .net.  Never click on links from spam emails to make purchases.

2) Use only secure websites for transaction

The URL of the website will start with https:// , rather than “http://” . Also  the website should feature a yellow lock icon in the bottom right corner or a green address bar. You can take a look at the security certificate for the site by clicking the icon.

3) Only use a secure connection

Never shop using an unsecured wireless network because hackers can access your payment information if the network is not protected.Once you arrive at a site, you need to make sure that it is legitimate and not a fake or spoofed version.

5) Use strong passwords

Choose passwords that are difficult to guess and are at least 10 characters long consisting of a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols. For any online shopping accounts you have, be sure to create good passwords.

6) Try using online payment services

Online payment services, like PayPal  offer another way for you to pay for your online purchases. These services let you pay with an account from the online payment service, without having to share your bank or credit card information with websites.

7) Credit Card is a safer choice

Credit cards can be the safer choice than debit cards for online shopping. Reasons: Credit cards have spending limits, while debit cards  are directly linked to your bank account. You can dispute fraudulent charges made to a credit card without being out-of-pocket the amount in dispute, but money withdrawn directly  using a debit card is much more difficult to recover. Consider using a credit card with a low credit limit specifically for your online purchases. And some banks now offer “one-time password”  or “virtual” credit cards, try using  these options.

8) Print or save the confirmation  of your order and keep it until you receive your product.

9) Check your statements regularly

To ensure that no unknown or fraudulent charges have been posted to your accounts, check your statements every month.

10) Keep your computer secured

Make sure your antivirus and malware protection software is up to date. Also check to see if you have a firewall installed on your computer.

11) Don’t use public computers for shopping online:

If you plan to do any shopping online, do it at home.  If you’re using a public computer, you have no control over who might be using that computer as well. You also don’t have any control over what kind of spyware or malware might be infecting that computer.

At what age is it acceptable to allow a child unsupervised internet use?

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I think this depends a lot on the child, her maturity and your ability to monitor or restrict their activity if you aren’t there at the time. It’s important to view online safety in the same way as we do any other personal safety issues such as road safety and that unsupervised internet access should only be allowed when children can demonstrate safe and responsible online behaviour.

Here communication is key. Open, realistic age-appropriate communication between parent and child. About what kind of websites are and aren’t okay. About what kind of behavior online is and is not okay. Restrict Internet access to a family room (not your child’s bedroom), where you can gently supervise. Be interested rather than restricting. Ask you child to show you what she’s doing, what she’s learning. Make this topic a discussion at your dinner table or a outing. Discuss any incidents that arise and help your child defend herself from the cybercrimes like bullying.
Parental supervision may change as children get older and can mange online risks better; however other systems (such as parental controls, education and communication) should also be in place.

Make sure that your child is cybersmart, visit www.wisenetizen.com to access free resources about internet safety for your family.

Take Care 🙂

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5 Super Smart Ways to Avert Chat Dangers Online

It’s shocking to know that –

  • 1/3rdof children interact with strangers online
  • Almost 62% of kids share personal information online
  • Nearly 70% online tweens have Facebook accounts, defying the eligibility age of 13

Our children could be one amongst them!

We childproofed our homes when our kids were toddlers. It has become compulsory to also child-proof the Internet, now that they are in the  6 to 13 age bracket, which makes them the most vulnerable to chat dangers.

Kids are chatting online with Facebook, Twitter, and relatively newer programs like WhatsApp and Viber. It is impossible to list all the chatting apps (short for applications)  and programs that they can use and you can monitor.

  1. Take a collaborative approach: Try to take the child into confidence and inform them of the virtues of safe surfing. Once you adopt a collaborative approach to this problem, then you might see that it is half the battle won. It will allow you to:
  • Share passwords with your child so that you can physically monitor chat logs yourself
  • Supervise their activities online without breathing down their necks
  • Control their online interactions without looking like a Cruella De Vil
  1. Be Cool!: To do this successfully, you mustn’t flip out and lose your cool unnecessarily. Kids use slang, curse-words, and profanities with each other all the time. If you find such usage in their chat logs, control your temper. Explain to them what wrong they are doing.
  1. Be Well PreparedRead these articles which tell you about online safety together. If both of you are aware of the dangers of online chatting, then you are better informed about this and are, thus, better able to protect yourselves.
  1. Be Sneaky: If you see that your child doesn’t co-operate with you, then you might need to be a bit sneaky. Pretend to be a friend and create a fake profile online. Make friends with them and strike up an online chat session. See how they behave with you. They mustn’t reveal –
  • Personal information such as their birth dates, home and school address, holiday plans and so on
  • Agree to meet strangers offline
  • Their photos or their family’s photos, etc.
  1. Corrective Action: You might see that your child has inadvertently slipped up. Without revealing your fake online identity, have a small talk with them and inform them about the perils of doing this. Even if they have revealed personal information to someone, don’t scold your child. It will only discourage them from sharing their mistakes with you. Just make sure it doesn’t happen again by following internet safety.

Take Care 🙂

Sonal

PS: Visit www.wisenetizen.com  and use free resources for educating your child about #cybersafety.

Tips to stay safe on Twitter

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Here are few points which parents/seniors can keep in mind whenever your child wants to use twitter:

  • Understand Twitter: Join the website. Understand how it works. Also monitor your child’s profile. Beware of the content which is posted on your child’s profile. You can monitor the content your child posts by making them friend on the website.
  • Remember Twitter is a public space
  • Protect passwords: Discuss with your child about how important it is to avoid sharing their passwords with friends.
  • Encourage your child to communicate with people they already know: Teach your children that they should never accept a friend’s request from a stranger or to communicate online or chat with any one who they don’t know. If they use computer in a library or Internet cafe, log off completely before you leave.
  • Think before tweeting
  • If your child receives unwanted tweets from another Twitter user, I generally recommend that he or she block that user and end communication. Ignoring the content shows unwillingness to engage in such interaction, and in most cases, the aggressor loses interest.
  • Report a violation
  • If something goes beyond the point of a personal conflict and has turned into credible threats, whether it be online or offline, you should contact your local authorities as they are in the best position to assess the threat and intervene or assist as necessary.
  • Discuss with your child about their experience with Twitter and guide them if required. Ask questions like ” Can you help me with Hashtags on Twitter? ” or “Did you follow uncle Sam on twitter?” ,such questions will encourage them to discuss their experience. Gradually you can proceed with other questions.
  • Follow family internet rules.

 

Take Care 🙂

Sonal