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Be informed about online dangers

THE Net is a wonderful thing. One can shop for just about anything, anywhere, anytime. Children can research and submit their assignments, attend online classes and obtain international qualifications.

For those who are young at heart, there’s online gaming. One can stay entertained and socialise with friends and family and even find love online, without leaving home.

The internet is a door to a whole new world, but that door swings both ways and one can never be sure who is going to come through into your home and the rooms of your children from the other side.

Parents spend so much time ensuring their children eat right, don’t talk to strangers, don’t run with scissors or around the pool, but parents don’t always apply the same thinking to their online lives.

There are viruses, inappropriate content, cyberbullies and online predators to worry about. There are tens of thousands of paedophiles who hide in apps designed for children and create false profiles in order to lure children out of safety for a possible abduction.

Don’t make it easy for them to groom your child. Privatise your social media accounts and be careful who you accept as a friend on Facebook.

Parents share geo-tagged photos of their children in school uniform holding certificates of merit, revealing exactly where their children go to school, what grade they are in, who their teachers are. That information is gold for an online predator.

During this lockdown period more children are now spending time online. It also means more online predators are surfing the internet for their next victim.

Keep your children safe by talking to them about online dangers. Ask them: “Would you leave the front door open for a stranger to walk into our home and look at all our family photos?” The answer will be: “no”. Yet, when it comes to social media, they’re quite happy to post selfies and other pictures for the whole world to see. Help them make that connection.

“How do we keep you safe while you’re online?” is a great way to open the discussion around online security. Talk to them about what they can and can’t share online. Apply the same thinking online as you would offline.

  • For more information on security products and services available to protect your family whilst online, call 087 805 0016 or ask for Kaspersky by name.
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