Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Internet Safety for Minors

"I received a photo of a stranger in the mail" or "I'm being chased by colleagues in a social networks" can be warning signs of security problems. Do you know how to proceed?

Today I will give you 6 easy tips that you can follow.

The previous thoughts should always be present and clear for adults and children, indicating best practices to adopt in every situation.
Studies have shown that young people have difficulty distinguishing on-line dangers . Sharing a sensual photograph through the mobile phone can not be seen as a problem and a risk, and the notions of privacy look increasingly diffuse at a time when the first thing that most young people do when they wake up is grab your smartphone and where the "real" friendships are becoming less differentiated from the "virtual" friendships.
On the Internet, there are many guides for parents and educators, more direct and well-made than others, but the difficulty often goes by the rules and able to transmit certain messages, considering the propensity for risk and consider that the elderly  "do not know any of this."
Leaving the communication door open and not imposing too many constraints are two rules that come from common sense that requires education, but there are other tips and best practices that can be shared, preferably through the (good) example in first person.

1. Protect data and identity
The use of strong keywords, combinations of letters and numbers without recourse to the more common "password" and "123456789" is one of the first recommendations for online security at all ages. It may be difficult to realize to the younger that you must have a password that is difficult to crack, and that this should never be shared with friends, even the close ones, but this is a first step in protecting yourself.

2. Be careful with strangers and 'Wonder' schemes
Probably most people explain to their children that they should not talk to strangers on the street. The same can apply to the on-line world, even if the "character" on the other side of the screen appears to have the same age and preferences. Unfortunately it is usual that people with less clear intentions hide behind friendly "appearances". However try to not be so strict, on-line friendships can occur - I do have a couple of friends that I first met on-line.

3. A logged session must be terminated
One of the most frequent problems of identity theft happens using public computers, where the sessions in social networks and email accounts are active after the user finish his/her task. Even with time limits imposed on some platforms for automatic closure of the sessions, the most appropriate procedure is to always manually "log-off".

4. Passwords also in mobile phone and tablet
Yes... it seems too much work having to enter a password - or a code of gestures - every time you use your phone, especially if you use it every 2 minutes, but this is one of the safest ways to ensure that your information does not fall into unwarranted hands. And by the way, you should also add password lock on tablets and to the laptop screens. Here apply the same rules.
There are some useful tools/apps to delete the data remotely or block access when the phone is stolen.

5. Learn to report 
To report an abusive practice is not the same as being a snitch. If there is a violent image, xenophobic or pornographic you may report it, thus preventing the abuse to continue. This applies to search engines, and also social networks.

6. Use security settings
Have you explored the security settings of the browser, search engines and social networks? There are some simple steps you can do to prevent your data and images to be shared publicly, normally this is done in the definitions of groups of friends with whom you can extend ties of greater confidence.

Final thoughts
Many of these tips are useful in a generic way, but it is also worth exploring the tools for protecting minors from operating systems, especially if they are young and still do not understand certain rules for using the Internet.

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Blog Editor and Owner: Luis Aparicio Fernandes (or Mikey) is a Business Expert and a Traveler based in Sydney, Australia. He is a member of The International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma due to his achievements in business. You can follow Luis on Google+, and LinkedIn.