Useful Tips

How to help your child use the Internet wisely?


The main challenge facing Internet users is to exercise extreme caution.

Cybercriminals, using our natural curiosity, send seemingly interesting messages in which the virus can be hidden. Therefore, never download files from suspicious or untrustworthy sources, or open links that sometimes appear when viewing various pages.

Photo source: dustball / CC BY-NC 2.0

Similar rules apply if we use email. You should not open links to sites of unknown origin, and, especially, attachments in which the malicious program is often hidden.

In turn, on social networks (Facebook, Twitter), attention is drawn to posts with links to controversial articles provided by our friends. When you click on such a link, we are asked to enter a phone number or install the application on the device. This is nothing more than an attempt to obtain data.

Antivirus - the first level of protection

In many cases, the virus lurks in an innocent file, and it is difficult to detect even while maintaining increased vigilance and caution. A reasonable solution is to install the correct antivirus program. Many companies offer their free versions.

Popular antiviruses on the market offer a variety of functions, such as scanning the computer during system boot, automatic control of data downloaded from the network using browsers, as well as specially designed programs. Automatically check for unwanted software also when you use instant messaging programs.

The main advantages of individual anti-virus systems are believed to be: real-time protection, a module for quarantining or filtering web pages and URLs.

There are many solutions, and the choice is to get acquainted with the various ratings of programs available on the network, which are regularly published.

Firewall - defensive wall

A very important security element of our computer is a firewall or firewall. Its task is to protect networks and systems from intruders.

Many firewalls include the option of creating a list of so-called trusted networks. Most firewalls are based on a simple usage scheme so that each user does not have problems maintaining the program.

The advantage of such programs is a special mechanism that significantly complicates unauthorized blocking, and in many cases even the complete shutdown of a malicious application.

Suitable web browser

Users typically use a single browser, although the choice is quite wide. When deciding to use a specific one, you need to remember important aspects, such as blocking automatically downloaded files or the mechanism for hiding traffic on the network.

A few years ago, a key element was the presence in the browser of a module for viewing PDF documents and Flash Player. Now the user does not need to download additional plugins. This is due to security issues.

Many cyber criminals used the mentioned plugins to inject malware onto their victims' computers. In this regard, the largest browser developers decided to implement built-in support for PDF or Flash.

Data Encryption - The Secret

As part of your security concern, you should enable data encryption. In the event of a device theft or attack from the network, no one will be able to read your data.

There are many solutions on the market. For example, you can use the proven VeraCrypt or the built-in Windows BitLocker.

The question of the safe use of the network is influenced by many different, often independent of each other, elements. On the one hand, you need to remember caution yourself, on the other hand, we have a number of information solutions, ranging from antivirus programs, firewalls, secure browsers to data encryption programs.

What you need to know about web activities

It is worth noting that parents face a rather difficult task, since they may not be very well versed in modern technologies. However, parents have invaluable life experiences that the child does not have. That's exactly what they can share. But first, parents should understand how their child can use the Internet and from which devices.

If the computer is in a visible place in the house, this will reduce the risk of using it for undesirable purposes. But there are also mobile devices that are much more difficult to control. Therefore, parents need to instill in their child certain values ​​that will protect him in critical situations.

For example, if a driver had an accident, this in no way means that he does not drive well. The same principle can be applied to the use of the Internet. Your child needs to instill certain skills in using the World Wide Web and then he will be able to avoid the traps that he may fall into due to his inexperience. These skills, in turn, will help him navigate cyberspace more safely.

The first thing you need to instill in your child is a sense of proportion. Many children share that such a feeling is essential when using the Internet. You can turn on the computer only to view your mail, but turn it off only after a few hours. The Internet can attract, and for this reason, the child must be taught self-control, because otherwise he will spend considerable time in aimless wandering around the Web.

Precautionary measures

What else should a teenager understand? There are many situations where a child rashly puts on the pages of various social networks too much personal information about himself. Such information is often used by criminals who collect it and analyze it. Then, based on the available data about the child, they can plan their future actions.

Children post such information because in most cases they are not aware of the consequences of their actions. This property of character is more inherent in adults. But children do not think too often about the consequences and this is used by attackers. They are well aware of this property of children and therefore pay great attention to their correspondence, as adults are more careful in their statements.

Parents should also explain to the child that all the information that is located on the Web is simply impossible to delete, even if the child himself deleted the resource on which it was located. Much later, this information can be seen by the employer of the parents themselves, which can significantly damage their reputation if it is very frank.

In the future, it may be very difficult for your child to get a job if the future employer reads his correspondence on social networks, which may be negative. Recently, employers are increasingly resorting to this method of collecting information about a potential employee. Thus, they receive more reliable information about the person.

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It is also worth teaching a child how to use time to a greater advantage. He needs to help set priorities in his life, since you will not be able to constantly monitor how much time he spends on the computer. It is worth explaining to the child that he can become a mature person only if he learns to give priority to more important things in his life.

For example, you can speculate with a child, what could be more important for him: aimless wandering on the Internet or spending time together with his family? In any case, if you notice that the child spends too much time at the computer, this is already a cause for serious concern. You may need to help your child set a reasonable amount of time at the computer or set a timer.

Teaching a child to think about the consequences

You will not be able to control every hour of a child’s pastime on the Web, so help him reflect on the consequences of posting personal information. Before posting any photos, let him think about what kind of reputation they create for him. If they are negative, then let him reflect on why it is extremely dangerous to have a bad reputation on the Web and how this may affect job searches in the future. Let him think about whether he will be ashamed if his parents or relatives see this photo. And what would your child think of a person who would post such photos?

Do not read moral to the child, but help him to come to certain conclusions. If he himself answers the questions, he is more likely to apply these tips and be more prudent in using the Internet.

Teach your child to think, and then he will be able to analyze the results of his actions. But if you just set the rules that he must adhere to, then this will not teach him the prudence, which will be so important to him for “walks” on the World Wide Web. In any case, you will be much calmer if you see that your child can understand the consequences of his decisions and warn them.

Such training is simply necessary for your child. Perry Aftab, who is a specialist in cyber security issues, emphasized the same idea. He emphasized that, although children are well versed in modern technologies, parents still have much more life experience, which also works on the Internet. The purpose of the parents is to pass it on to their child, otherwise he will have to accumulate his life experience, which may be accompanied by a mass of serious mistakes, most of which will be impossible to correct.