“2012 is going to be a great year!” How many times
have we heard that at the start of each year? Many? Well, that may be so, but I
believe it will be much better than the previous, and it is important to always
As internet speed becomes faster and access easier, internet safety becomes more important than ever. That’s why we’ve come up with our Top 7 Internet Safety New Years Resolutions, and the reasons why.
1. Cleanup social networking profiles
How many of us have ‘friends’ attached to our social
networking profiles that are acquaintances at best? It’s time to remove people
from our profile who we don’t know well. Otherwise, they may see more personal
information than you would like to share.
This is especially important for children, who often play a ‘numbers game’ by seeing how many ‘friends’ they can accumulate against their online profile.
2. Implement ‘safe search’ for search engines
‘Safe Search’ is a feature available in all search
engines. The level of ‘moderate’ is often a default, but ‘strict’ is also
available. Setting one of these levels will restrict the amount of
objectionable material that may be returned in a search.
Find out how to set ‘safe search’ in Google HERE.
3. Encourage young ones to use safe social networking sites
Facebook has over 7.5 million users under the age of
13. Parents often help children to signup to Facebook so they can play games.
In doing so, expose them to potential predators and adult material. Instead,
encourage them to try one of the ‘child friendly’ social networking sites
Hectors World – www.hectorsworld.com is a NZ site in an underwater cartoon world, where kids learn about internet safety in a fun and safe way.
Minimonos – www.minimonos.com
is a NZ site set on a cartoon island, where users take the form of a monkey
avatar, and learn all about the environment in a safe and fun way.
SuperClubsPlus – www.scplus.com is a site that requires the schools to sign up to it first, then all children who wish to subscribe are approved by a school teacher first. So far it has been very successful in NZ.
4. Update your anti-virus software and install anti-malware software
Anti-virus software protects computers from viruses,
but is only as good as the updated data file they use for scanning. Most can be
configured to update automatically, but some need to be done manually.
A highly rated free anti-virus product is that
provided by AVG. It can be found be searching for AVG free ‘anti-virus’.
Likewise, malware has the potential to slow down computers and steal passwords. There are various anti-malware programs available, and some are for free.
5. Install monitoring software on home computers
Monitoring software, parental control software,
filtering software, it’s the same. Whether you use a free product like www.getk9.com or a paid product like PC Pandora , they provide the
ability to block, monitor, record and report on internet categories YOU choose.
Blocking categories containing objectionable material
is essential when young ones are using the computer. Otherwise it is only a
matter of time before they stumble on inappropriate content.
For older users, restrictions can be relaxed. However, the monitoring functionality plays an important role in identifying whether what you are teaching them about internet safety is being put into practice. The monitoring functionality goes much deeper than just recording websites!
6. Educate yourselves about Internet Concerns by using top NZ sites
NZ sites such as www.netsafe.org.nz
and www.websafety.co.nz have the
latest information on their sites about internet concerns today. NetSafe
provide a wide range of internet safety information, and are the non-profit organisation
that is in touch with the various government agencies on the subject.
WebSafety NZ is a business protecting parents and
children from internet danger. They also work with businesses, and have a
wealth of information on their blogs.
Once you educate yourselves on some of the latest concerns, educate your children.
7. Attend an Internet Safety presentation at your school
Be pro-active this year and attend an internet safety
presentation when available. Why not contact your school and ask them to
contact us? We now have 4 presentations
we deliver to both parents and students through schools nationwide.
There is so much that can be learnt attending these
sessions, and it is amazing how much there is, that you ‘didn’t know’.
Let’s make 2012 a great year, an internet safety year, where we empower ourselves and our children to be safer digital citizens!
In : internet safety
Tags: internet safety