Generation Z is the first generation not to know a world without the Internet. Naturally, they’re more connected than any other generation, especially in the age of physical distancing. And while the online world is a remarkable place for them, it’s also full of digital threats.
As tempted as you may be during fleeting moments, you simply don’t have the option to cut off your kids’ Internet. Instead, secure your family computer in order to help them thrive online with their safety and privacy intact.
Use Good Cybersecurity Software
The Internet is full of malicious software threats that are harmful to your family.
- Viruses are a simple but dangerous kind of malware that quickly delete essential folders and files on your computer and leave it incapacitated. The worst viruses can easily corrupt your treasured family photos and videos permanently.
- Adware is an annoying type of malware that tracks your activities, redirects your browser to other websites, installs browser extensions without permission, and floods your screen with pop-up ads. If you have a family, adware can be harmful because it sometimes displays unsavory images and videos to earn clicks.
- Spyware doesn’t show typical symptoms of a malicious software infection. Instead, it sits quietly in your system, recording your Internet activity, usernames, passwords, banking information, and more, often to put you in financial strife.
- Stalkerware is a type of spyware designed to help abusers stalk their victims. Attackers use stalkerware to track locations and record sounds, pictures, and videos.
To protect your family computer from such dangerous malware, install powerful antivirus software that eliminates established and emerging threats. A sound cybersecurity system should also offer 24/7 protection. Although you can’t monitor the family computer all the time, the right protection software certainly can.
Take Advantage of Parental Control Tools
Many operating systems have robust parental control tools. Use these options to manage your family’s Internet activity in the following ways:
- Block access to inappropriate websites
- Remove mature content from search results
- Limit access to inappropriate video games, apps, and other media
- Ration online time
- Download reports on web browsing and app use.
Make it a habit to use sophisticated passwords that use 12 characters and have lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers, and symbols. The right password will keep hackers out of your computer and accounts, and your children out the parental control tools. Never underestimate the resourcefulness and determination of kids.
Set Up Remote Access
Enable remote access on the family computer to solve problems while you’re away from home. For example, if your kids call you to report a suspicious email or an inexplicable computer crash, you can use remote access to perform maintenance.
Teach Your Family
Despite your best efforts, your kids may get into trouble online without the right training. Teach your family some basic rules of cybersecurity. For example, everyone at home should avoid clicking unknown links, visiting suspicious websites, using unknown programs, and sharing confidential information on the Internet.
In addition, they should be aware of phishing scams — which can trick people into downloading malicious software.
While the online world can be unsafe, it’s also an excellent resource for everyone in the digital age. With the right tools and precautions, you can help secure Internet access for the entire family.