Data security

How You and Your Kids Could Be Vulnerable to Online Intruders

kids-and-the-internet-dangersThe internet is a dangerous place for kids, but that doesn’t make it safe for adults. Both you and your kids could be vulnerable to online intruders if the proper safety steps aren’t taken. This makes it necessary for people to educate themselves about their risks and to appropriately restrict their children’s internet access. Here are five ways you and your kids could be vulnerable to online intruders.

1. Malicious Software

Malicious software is everywhere, and it doesn’t always seem malicious. Software programs should only ever be downloaded if they are from a trusted and verified source. Anyone can write a software program, and anyone can put it out there to download. These programs can include pieces of software called Trojans that allow hackers access to your computer and your data.

2. Social Media Websites

Social media websites are a great way for a scam artist to collect personal information such as dates of birth and maiden names. Not only should you limit your children’s internet access and social media use, but you should also make your own social media profiles private to anyone but your friends and family. You should also be wary of adding anyone that you don’t know.

3. Internet Scams

There are many scams online that can cause you to become vulnerable to intruders. Scam artists can pretend to have items for sale and lure children to click a malicious ad or ask money from people in exchange for some unrealistic return or gift that is too good to be true. Both you and your children should always be wary of all online claims, especially those that come from outside the country.

4. Inappropriate Websites

Inappropriate websites often infect computers with a host of viruses that can allow access to private data. These websites aren’t just websites that are sexually explicit but also websites that allow illegal downloading or illegal music sharing. Children should be taught how to avoid these websites and what is and is not allowed online. Adults should make sure to have virus detection software at all times so that they don’t accidentally stumble into these areas of the internet either. Web filters like K9 Web Protection offer free web filtering services.

5. File-Sharing Applications

File-sharing applications such as torrents and peer-to-peer networks are notoriously unsafe. There are many mislabeled programs and files traded on these networks that may seem legitimate at first but may contain malicious software hidden within them. These applications are almost always illegal, but children can be tempted towards downloading them so that they can play games free and listen to music. Children should be taught about the consequences for illegally downloading files before they’re allowed online, as the fines and penalties can be quite steep.

This article was written by Dixie Somers. Make sure your family has the best internet packages and phone plans if you are calling international long distance.

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