Web Surf­ing is becom­ing your kids’ #1 dai­ly activ­i­ty.  Is your Home Com­put­er Kid Safe? Par­ent­ing has nev­er been an easy task. Now add in Face­book, Twit­ter,  Youtube and so many oth­er social media venues, and the dif­fi­cul­ties and secu­ri­ty risks increase expo­nen­tial­ly.  Many par­ents, how­ev­er, are not mon­i­tor­ing their children’s inter­net activ­i­ties and are unaware of the dan­gers that are lurk­ing. Here are some tips every par­ent and child should know about com­put­er safe­ty.  Teach your chil­dren well! websurfingKids should be using com­put­ers in com­mon areas of your home, cre­ate a com­put­er desk in the kitchen or recre­ation room.  Be wary of com­put­ers in your kid’s rooms with no surf con­trols and mon­i­tor­ing. You need to know where your kids are going on line.  Remem­ber that many smart phones are very pow­er­ful, sim­i­lar prac­tices should apply! Use secu­ri­ty soft­ware that includes auto­mat­ic virus scan­ners and fire­walls.  Com­plete pack­ages are avail­able from com­pa­nies like Kasper­sky,  Syman­tec , etc.,  that con­tain com­plete pack­ages of pro­tec­tion includ­ing parental con­trols. Keep your soft­ware and oper­at­ing sys­tem up to date.  This includes the free updates pro­vid­ed by Win­dows and oth­er providers.   The lat­est ver­sion of an inter­net brows­er will con­tain the lat­est pro­tec­tion against Hack­ers and Mal­ware. Soft­ware is updat­ed for a rea­son! “If in doubt…throw it out” applies to emails and espe­cial­ly attach­ments and links from strangers.  If you get a mes­sage from a con­tact with no sub­ject line, or sus­pi­cious lan­guage you should send your friend an email or call to inquire if the mes­sage is legit­i­mate. They may have been hacked.  It is much eas­i­er to con­firm the con­tents of an email before open­ing, than try­ing to rid a com­put­er of a virus…or worse. Com­put­ers are reli­able but not infal­li­ble.  Potent Mal­ware can ren­der a new com­put­er use­less and erase or com­pro­mise years of data in min­utes.  Make sure you make copies and do reg­u­lar back­ups of impor­tant data. The inter­net is a great source of infor­ma­tion. It is also the home of bril­liant hack­ers and con artists and more.  Don’t believe every­thing you read on line, and the old adage applies: “If it sounds too good to be true…it prob­a­bly is!” Safe surf­ing every­one!

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.