THINK about how you guide your family in the real world and do the same in the digital world – don’t be afraid to set boundaries and rules for your child from a young age
HAVE a go at some of the technologies your son or daughter enjoys – play on the Wii together or ask them to help set you up on Facebook if you’re not already a member
TALK to your friends, family and other parents about how they help their children to manage their digital world – you might pick up some interesting tips
MAKE the most of tools like Parental Controls on computers, mobiles and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites, and safety options on Google and other search engines
TRY not to use technology as a babysitter too often – we all do it sometimes but it’s important to know what your child is doing
MAKE digital issues part of everyday conversation – show your child that you understand how important technology is to them and talk about all its amazing benefits, but don’t shy away from difficult subjects like responsible online behavior, bullying and pornography
1. Protect your email account with a separate password
Your email account contains lots of information about you and is the gateway to all your other online accounts. If you think about it, if someone gets into your email, they could potentially reset the password on all your online accounts. That’s why it’s so important to keep it secure by protecting it with a strong password that is different to all your others.
2. Create a strong password using three random words
Essentially the longer and more unusual your password is, the stronger it becomes and the harder it is for a criminal to hack or guess. The best way to make your password hard to hack is by using a sequence of three random – but memorable words. For example, “BeachTarantulaOranges” (don’t copy this one though…).
3. Save your passwords in your browser
You and your family probably have more online accounts than you can keep track of, from banking to shopping to social media to tv streaming services. You should avoid using the same password for different websites and do this by finding a way to remember passwords that works for you.
Saving your passwords in your browser (for example, Google or Bing) is a great way to do this. You might recall seeing a pop up box when you log into a new website from your phone, tablet or laptop, that says “would you like to save this password?” – saying “yes” will take the burden away from you.
Some people think saving your passwords in your browser isn’t a very secure thing to do, however the big technology companies have invested a lot of time and money in the security of their browsers. Its more important to have strong separate passwords on your accounts, saving them in your browser helps you remember them.
4. Turn on two factor authentication
For an added layer of security on your important accounts, such as email, social media and banking, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA). This is a free security feature that’s available on many popular services and helps to prevent criminals accessing your accounts even if they have your password. What happens is after you have entered your password, you are also sent a text or code when you log in, to check you are who you say you are. So if another person tries to access your account, they can’t even if they have your password.
Making sure your devices – your laptop, phone, tablet, games console, smart speaker - have the most up to date software and apps is one of the best things you can do to immediately improve your security.
Cyber criminals exploit weaknesses in software and apps to access your sensitive personal data, but providers are continually working to keep you secure by releasing regular updates. We’d encourage you to regularly check for updates on your devices and apps or set them to automatically update so you don’t have to think about it anymore.
6. Turn on automatic backup
If you’ve ever left your phone in your pocket and not realised until you heard it bouncing round the washing machine, your first two thoughts were probably ‘that’s going to be expensive’ and ‘I hope I haven’t lost all my photos’.
We can’t help with the first thought, but the second one is easy to prepare for, just turn on automatic backup on your device. Not only will it help keep those treasured memories safe so you can access them again when you get a new device; it will also mean that if your phone, tablet or laptop is hacked you can recover quickly from your backup
What can Parental Controls do?
It is important to be aware of the range of parental controls available. They are usually offered by internet service providers, computer operating systems, social networks, search engines, games consoles and more. They also offer different functions depending on the provider, these include:
Setting specific time limits on your children’s use
Controlling/Blocking games your child can access
Prevent children from using specific programs
Manage content children can search for online
Below are some useful guides to setting up parental controls through your home WI-FI, on laptops, PCs and through social websites.
How to set up Windows 10 Parental Controls - Click Here
How to set up Apple IOS (mobile, tablet) Parental Controls - Click Here
How to set up Apple OS (macbook, iMac) Parental Controls - Click Here
What is YouTube Safety Mode and how to set this up? - Click Here
How to set up parental restrictions on your home WI-FI - Click Here
Set up a safe checklist for your children - Click Here
How to set up Google Play Parental Controls - Click Here
How to set up Android (Phone, tablet) Parental Controls - Click Here