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Protect Your Child from Social Cyber Threats


Just imagine we live in a day and age where a game like Blue Whale is said to be taking lives. As a parent, it can be a very daunting task to keep track of your children’s safety from the threats looming in the cyberspace.

And why not!? Not all technological advancements are for the good of your children. The parents are usually caught up in the process of helping their kids to score top grades in their academics or are concerned that they are keeping up with their soccer practice.

Amidst all this, it is natural to ignore the importance of online security. It is also due to the fact that we don’t attach weight to cybersecurity. The security that we ought to be concerned about does not just revolve around ransomware/ malware attacks or identity theft.

If you employ Ivacy VPN while surfing the web, you can ensure encryption so that prying eyes such as your ISPs cannot get hands on your private data or sell it to third-parties.

Anonymous Sharing Is Not the Cure

Now many youngsters think via anonymous sharing they can stay safe from the dangers lurking online. Sure Snapchat allows for features where the images and messages appear for a short period of time and then disappear.

But if you think it has vanished, you are mistaken. Since nothing ever gets lost on the internet. You do know that there is a certain time frame where people can take a snapshot of your post and save it. So can cyber bullies for blackmailing you with them for when you were at your most personal self.

Point being, this anonymous sharing is not the cure. These apps start off as offering anonymity but down the road allows for a change in settings. By way of which you expose yourself to these cyber thieves.

According to a survey conducted by the famous Panda Security, it was noted that parents considered the idea of anonymous sharing, categorically as “unsafe’’. This is no joke. The survey concludes that the fear is real.

Hence, it is advisable to discuss with your kids about what they can and what they cannot share on these apps. There has to be some cut-off as to what is considered public and approved by parents for sharing and vice versa.

Also, parents should warn children of clicking on any links which they may come across while being online. Links could be in the form attachments or images. Clicking them will activate the malware or can leak your information to phishing websites.

Be wary of Direct Messaging

Direct messaging is a very common feature when you are online or using social media. The concept is to stay-in-touch with your friends and family. But the same has been used by these cyber bullies to contact you directly.

Through the means of direct messaging, they send you attachments or links to phishing websites. Parents must teach their children to avoid clicking any links sent from strangers online. These too can be spotted and here are some ways to identify that links are dangerous as well as fishy.

For instance, the messages will be riddled with all forms of typos, incorrect spellings/ usage of subject-verb agreement and out of place use of punctuation. Moreover, you will notice that the messages are explicitly asking for access to your credit card or PIN.

Always remember, no genuine platform will ever ask for such confidential information from its users, and that too via direct messaging. Another way to deduce the scam is that the message will be asking you to take action or else your account will be terminated and/ or blocked.

All in all, inculcate in your kids the habit of using common sense such as they should be able to differentiate between links that do not sit in sync with their description and so on. You’ll observe they will have the most secure online experience.

Share stories and incidents with your children where things turned ugly because not enough caution or care was exercised. This will greatly help them scan every information they get through direct messaging.

Email messaging is the same. Not only links are sent in messages but also through emails. Tell your children to not engage with an email if they are not sure who the sender is. Most of the time it is a cyber-thief trying to trick you into believing something which is a total and complete farce!

Teach them the importance of marking messages as Spam so the Spam filter works better for their inbox in the future. They will receive less of these emails or you can simply ask them to delete the message from an unknown sender, right away.

Video Streaming Platforms Aren’t Safe Either…

You may be surprised to learn this but this is true. YouTube alone garners viewership on a video of billion users in under a handful of hours. That is one of the best places these cyber bullies will look to devise strategies to hack the system and extract information on viewers.

Whereas it is impossible for your kids to fall prey to these predators just by watching videos on YouTube directly but they sure can, through comments section by clicking on the links therein, via an ad or through video description. This can easily infect your system with malware.

The steps to preventing this are by exercising preventive techniques such as by familiarizing oneself with how YouTube functions. And that any fishy links should be ignored be it in the comments section or in video descriptions. Children should also be taught that they view videos in “Restricted Mode.”

This will prevent them from accidentally venturing on to a video that has explicit content or which is not age-appropriate. There is also an alternative in the shape of YouTube Kids App that lets you monitor content with respect to children. Here you can turn off commenting completely.

…Nor are Online Video Games

We all know how much kids enjoy playing video games, heck even adults do. But the question is how we can make the experience safe for everyone involved. Because today more or less, every video game has a social plugin embedded in it.

One of the most popular games is Minecraft. In Minecraft, kids can be seen developing worlds and then sharing them with their friends. There is nothing wrong with the game itself, however, these online video games serve as a playground for hackers.

This happens when you leave the game’s website and go to another page from the link you clicked within the gaming environment. Now we will tell you what are those links.

They can be in the shape of pop-up ads, the offering of free-coins, skins and avatars etc. Upon clicking, the link takes you to a different webpage where you will be asked to download an executable file and that’s it!

The malware spreads like a wildfire, stealing your passwords and other private data. With encryption through Ivacy VPN you won’t be getting any links and hence, the possibility of malware attack is eliminated.

Various techniques are at play here in order to steal the information which you hold dear. Most of the times, you will even be locked out of your account.

Ads full of spam are shown to millions of players around the world luring them in to click on websites. And why would anyone in their right mind click? Because hackers promise free stuff. But having highlighted the threats let’s take a look at how you can guard your kids against such dangers.

The First and Foremost Thing to Do Is Become Proactive

Knowledge is power and we have filled you in on how various threats that can be a bad influence on your child. You can start by setting up strict parental controls. With parental controls, you can add a layer of multiple security.

Parental controls can be set up for devices such as Windows or Mac platforms. Moreover, for internet browsers such as Firefox and Chrome. In Chrome, you have the ability to create a supervisory account to prevent children from ever venturing into a territory which is not safe.

Many useful add-ons are available, especially in Firefox that can block unwanted pop-ups while surfing or scan for phishing websites. That is multi-layered protection is very effective because if none layer fails, the other takes its place to secure your children.

Create Tougher Passwords and Multi-layered Logins

Another method to ensure your child’s safety is by protecting his or her password. Learn to create and teach your kids, as well, the importance of creating stronger passwords. Most common and yet effective is to set a password where initial letters in the sentence is your password.

For example, ‘Mark was born July the 8th, 2001 in the afternoon’. Here the password will be MwbJt8,01 or you can experiment any way you prefer. Turn on two-step verification in apps. Again this will add another layer of security to your account.

First, you enter a password and then a code will be sent to the user’s phone. When you enter it correctly, only then and ONLY THEN you are allowed access to your app’s account. If remembering passwords become too overwhelming, resort to a trusted password manager.

To Sum Up

Installation of antivirus software eases the burden as well. It provides comprehensive, all-round protection from all of the ills listed above.

Investing in Ivacy VPN is advisable so that it can protect your data through its encryption mechanism if something were to go awry. It just works like an insurance policy. Educate yourself and your children. Last but not the least, keep your devices up-to-date with the latest in protection software.

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