4 tips to stay safe online

In recognition of Safer internet Day, which was celebrated earlier this week, here are some recommended tips – reminders – of safe practices that should be adopted.

On the second day, in the second week, in the second month of the year, the world celebrates Safer Internet Day, which in 2015 fell on10 February. Under the theme this year of “Let’s create a better Internet together”, Safe Internet Day aims to “promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world” (Source: Safe Internet Day).

Here at ICT Pulse, we have been, and continue to be, strong advocates for safe and responsible Internet use generally, and more so among children, and have published a number of articles on this topic over the years. Below are a few of the tips we have given over the years, which we hope are taken to heart.

1.  Limit the personal information you publish online. As we continue to get even more immersed in our social networks, it is critical that we become even more vigilant about what we are actually sharing about our personal lives, and the extent to which we might be exposing ourselves and our families to a whole host of dangers, based on the information we volunteer. Unless we are exceedingly cautious, our social networks tend to consist of more than just our families and close friends. Also, depending on our security settings, individuals who are not part of our network may still be able to access a considerable amount of information on our life that could be used to our detriment.

2.  Decline or block unwanted or unknown contacts. Again, on social networks in particular, we can be lulled into a false sense of security, and almost without thinking, accept requests to connect from person we do not know. To be clear: bogus accounts are rife on networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Hence it is imperative be mindful about who exactly you allow into your space.

3.  Do not be afraid to set rules and boundaries with your children. For many who have children in their care, allowing them to use the Internet can be seen as a way of keeping them occupied and out of trouble. However, in the same way you might establish certain rules and guidelines for your child, should they need to go to a major city by him- or herself, a similar mind-set ought to be adopted with regard to the Internet.

4.  Supervise computer use. As a follow up to the previous point, and having set certain rules and boundaries for Internet use for your children, it is still necessary to supervise their activity. In addition, to physical oversight, it might also be appropriate to activate applications that limit the websites a child can access.


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