The internet.  It’s a technological marvel that rivals the best inventions of the last 100 years. It’s made everyday life so much more convenient. And it can be a very scary place with devious people doing their best to spy on you, spam you, trick you into giving them your important personal information and in general – do you harm! If you have children in your household you are vigilant in ensuring they are protected and the the perils of the online universe may find you at a loss. It’s tough to know what steps to take to safeguard ourselves and our children.  We don’t have all the answers, but we can give you three things you can do right now to make your online experience safer and more enjoyable.

 

1. Use a Good Anti-Virus Program

Using a good anti-virus program can head off malware before it has a chance to infect your computer. Avast Software offers a free version of their anti-virus software that works great on PCs and Macs. There are other free anti-virus programs available. Regardless of which one you choose, install it, use it and save yourself some headaches.

Another great tool we use often is called Malwarebytes. Like Avast anti-virus above, Malwarebytes has a free version that should do everything you need. This small piece of software scans your computer for any infections or malware and zaps it. Fast & easy!

Difficulty: Easy

2. Change Your DNS

CHANGE YOUR DNS. It’s FREE and it’s easy to do. DNS stands for Domain Name Server and it basically translates domain names to IP addresses so your computer can access websites. OpenDNS offers a couple of free options that provide filtering options including their Family Shield that blocks adult content. The best way to implement this is to set the DNS on your wi-fi router. That way, any computer that connects to the internet through your router will use your new DNS. Here’s a link to OpenDNS https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/. There are 2 free options along with complete instructions on how to implement either option.

Difficulty: Easy

3. Pay Attention To Your Child's Online Activity

This is an important step and has zero cost. Talk to your children. Set up rules for their online activities. Talk to them about cyberbullying. If they have social media accounts, review their privacy settings. Whenever possible, locate your computer in a public part of your home. Keep an eye on what your kids are doing online and help them make responsible decisions.

There are also a number of software options you can install to track your kids’ online activities. Kaspersky Safe Kids is pretty inexpensive for what you get. https://usa.kaspersky.com/safe-kids

Difficulty: Easy

Disclaimer: The content of this post is the opinion of Team 218 and relates to industry standard techniques and products. Team 218 makes no claims regarding the results you might experience and cannot be help responsible for any outcomes as a result of following these guidelines.

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