Log on to these internet tips to ensure that your family is surfing the web in safety!
For both kids and grownups, it is fun to go online. There is really so much to do –research for homework, send emails, update your Facebook, watch videos, catch up on the latest showbiz happenings, and connect with friends and family via online chatting or video calling.
But as the family becomes more internet savyy, they are also becoming more exposed to the dangers that surfing can bring. There are online predators and scammers who are just waiting to get their hands on your personal information. Children are particularly prone to this, so parental guidance is a definite must. But you should be on the lookout too, because even the simple tasks you do with your mouse and keypads can already put you at risk. To help keep the web baddies away, we share safety tips for the whole family to ensure your surfing security.
For grownups, here are some common scams to watch out for:
- Dead end work offers. There are many job postings on the internet that advertise this and that work-from-home position. The caveat is that since you do not have any real face-to-face encounters with the employer, you are not given a contract, and there is no way for you to contact him directly. There have been cases of people who took on work offered in the internet but did not get paid for it, either because the employer vanished after the job had been completed. While it may seem so easy to get jobs on the internet, do your research about the company that you plan to work for.
- Get-rich schemes. There are sites that purportedly sell secrets to making it in the real estate business, or offer books on how to have a successful online career. They will only give out those juicy secrets after you have paid them through credit cards or other means, and then give out nothing or maybe no-brainers in return. In short, you are never sure if you will get value for your money. Again, do some background checking before you shell out anything online.
- Social network predators. Social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace are very popular these days, and many scammers are taking advantage of these. You should be wary of adding people you do not know to your friends list, as they will have access to your personal information, or worse, know your whereabouts in a particular place and time, according to your posts. Be careful who you add, and think twice before you post. Explore your privacy options, to limit the information that you want to share and regulate the people who can access them.
- Information filching. People think that filing their ATM's PIN Numbers, credit card numbers, or other vital information in their My Documents folder will keep it safe and handy in case it is forgotten. But filing these digits can put you in a security risk, as there are hackers who can come in anytime to retrieve the information. There are many unsecure sites on the internet, such as those where videos can be shared and watched. When a computer user visits that site, he becomes open to hacker attacks who can retrieve anything stored in the computer's files. As much as possible, refrain from storing account numbers and any other valuable information in your computer.
Kids should be supervised whenever they go online. Here are some precautions that parents should observe:
- Have a room with a view. Make sure that children use the computer in a room where you can monitor them. This way, parents can easily view their online activities, versus having them do their surfing behind closed doors.
- Make a site map. Parents can make sure that the sites that the children enter are safe and kid-friendly by visiting the sites themselves. Make mental notes about the amount of information that the site may ask for in order to be a member or to log in.
- Remind children that networking sites are not popularity contests where they have to keep adding friends, even those whom they do not know, in order to hike up those friend numbers.
- Give an orientation. Tell children about the dangers of sharing too much information, especially to strangers. Full names, addresses, and phone numbers should never be shared online.