With the rising use of the Internet, it’s becoming more commonplace to be asked for a credit card number or other personal information over the Web. With this growing familiarity with Internet transactions come those who ask for that same information, but are really using this data for themselves. Public safety officials deal with cybercrimes on a regular basis. While the Internet can be a valuable tool, it’s important to learn and exercise proper Internet safety so you’re keeping yourself safe while surfing. Here are some Internet safety tips to put into practice:
Always check for the padlock
Every computer is different, but learn the signs that appear on your Internet browser when you’re accessing a secure site. This sign tells the user about the website’s security. Don’t just learn the sign though. Learn the color, the sign, if it lights up and what part of the screen it appears on. Some internet wizards know people don’t know exactly what their “token” looks like, so they put similar padlocks on parts of the page so you think you’re accessing a secure site when you’re not. By memorizing the way it looks, you’re setting yourself up to defend your information against fraud.
Talk with your kids about Internet safety
Cyber bullying and catfishing are only two of the new words that have popped up after kids have logged on. Have a conversation with your kids about child Internet safety and what to do if they feel unsafe on the Internet. Take the time to monitor your kids’ activity too, and know when they’ve spent too much time surfing the net.
· Share an email account so you can monitor their activity.
· Invest in a filter that controls the sites your kids can access.
· Keep the computer in a main part of the house so you can see what they’re doing online just by walking by.
· Take the time to participate in the games or websites where your kids are. They will think you’re cool because you want to be involved in THEIR world and you will get the opportunity to see just what Club Penguin is.
· Keep track of the amount of time they’re spending on the computer. The great outdoors can still call kids’ names - it’s just drowned out by ringtones.
Take action when things get strange
Never be embarrassed to report something someone has messaged you on Facebook or posted as a comment on one of your tweets. It can be hard as an adult to report a threatening message - you feel like you’re an adult and Internet problems are of a different generation. The fact of the matter is, Internet problems and cyber bulling can affect anyone from any age, race or gender and should be reported. You don’t know what the person could do next.
All in all, when on the Internet it’s important to be smart. Internet safety is for parents and kids alike. Have you ever been on a dark road alone at night and you suddenly became very aware of your surroundings? The Internet can be the same way. Make sure you’re aware of others’ actions as well as your reputation online and cyber safety should be a walk in the park.