tips for staying safe online

8th August 2022

The adage of “don’t talk to strangers” might seem old fashioned but the message is as strong as ever, especially when it comes to safeguarding our children online in 2022. Protecting your young ones online can feel like a minefield;  from hackers waiting to steal your personal data to monitoring your kids’ online activity, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Sit back, relax, and get ready as we walk you through sure-fire ways to staying safe online.

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securing your wi-fi network

Did you know that network providers give you the option to switch up your bog-standard wi-fi password? And whilst swapping it out for ‘wifipassword1’ may be tempting, protecting your private connection is crucial to keeping your kids safe online.

Hackers are always looking for a way in, whether through your broadband or by other means with the intention of installing malware. Your router connects to every device in your home, getting a virus allows cybercriminals to access your personal devices and data.

scatter the hackers

The worst thing to do when creating a password is to use memorable information. Even the name of your first hamster isn’t safe! Hackers can find this information online, making passwords like this easily obtainable.

Using a combination of letters, numbers, unrelated words and symbols builds a solid foundation. Ensure you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts/devices. Using a password manager not only allows you to securely store all your passwords, but often they’ll actually create a strong password for you. No fuss.

gatekeep the gaming

Online gaming is now more popular than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021 it was found that 82% of children aged 12 to 15 were gaming online. With open lobbies allowing for voice chat and direct messaging with thousands of individuals around the world, what can be done to keep your child safe without spoiling their fun?

create a persona

Keep your child safe by not putting them out there at all!

  • Keep personal information at an absolute minimum while setting up the account and randomise a gamertag to exclude using their actual name.
  • Get involved. Treat them to the big screen in the lounge or offer to jump in and play with them to keep an eye on them without stepping on their toes.
  • Make use of parental controls. From here you can set limits or even restrictions on certain games/apps.

practise safe-searching

Cybercriminals are crafty and constantly looking for ways to steal your personal info. Ensure your card details are secure by only shopping on sites featuring a padlock icon or ‘https://’ in the URL. By clicking on the padlock icon, you can verify the site’s security certificate.

 Be mindful or scams, if it’s too good to be true it probably is! You should also be wary of clicking on any links or downloading files from unknown senders. A common attempt to get around this is by masquerading as someone else, known as ‘phishing.’

what’s the rush?

Phishing: This type of email will generally be an alert pretending to be a well-known site, asking you to enter your password or asking for card information. You can click on the sender’s ID to verify its authenticity but if you’re not sure, it’s probably best not to click.

As a rule of thumb for online safety, if you’re not sure consider asking for advice or not acting. You can find answers online from like-minded people through forums or discussion groups. Scammers will always try and rush you into making a mistake so take some time to step back and assess the situation first.

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