Entries in internet (5)
(by Kelley Goldblatt)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Day is known as Cyber Monday. It is a day when online retailers offer special deals and discounts to entice shoppers to visit their websites and purchase products from their online stores. More than 122 million people are expected to participate this year. The popularity of this day has also drawn scammers and cyber thieves who want to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.
Cyber criminals are looking to gain access to customers’ personal information and computer information. Once this information is obtained, criminals can steal a persons’ identity, make fraudulent purchases with their financial information, take control of a users’ computer, and much more. The tips below can assist Cyber Monday participants in making smart decisions whenever making online purchases.
Tips for staying safe:
- Make sure that your purchasing device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc) has anti-virus protection.
- Don’t make purchases over a free and/or public Wi-Fi
- Pause before clicking on any links from websites that are not well known to the shopper. If you do see a deal you are interested in, go to that company’s website through your Web browser, not from a hyperlink within an email.
- Do not download files. No deals will be found in a .zip or .exe attachment. Stores will not make customers download files with additional pricing information.
- Consider proactive deal-hunting. There are major aggregate sites that can help shoppers roundup and find deals from other trusted websites.
- When purchasing a product online, make sure to use a credit card and a site that uses SSL encryption. SSL encryption will be denoted by the URL starting with “https”.
- Be aware, debit cards and electronic money transfer accounts (PayPal) do not offer the same level of consumer protection as credit cards.
- Log off from the site once the order is completed.
The Internet is an amazing resource for parents. A world of parenting information is just a search engine away! But it’s easy to become lost and confused—there are just so many Web sites out there. How do you know if you can trust what you read? Anyone can publish anything on the World Wide Web. There’s no quality control. Many sites are pushing an agenda, and others are trying to sell a product. Some are just plain wrong.
UM linked what they consider to be the most trustworthy sites on the Web for information for parents.
While their age helps youth easily adapt to new technologies, their immaturity also makes them more likely to unintentionally engage in risky behaviors or be targeted by other users, more often peers than strangers. For many young people, there is little divide between their “real world” and online selves. As a parent, consider doing the following:
- Remain positively engaged. Pay attention to and know the online environments your children use. Appreciate your children’s participation in their online communities and show interest in their friends. Try to react constructively when they encounter inappropriate material. Make it a teachable moment.
- Support their good choices. Expand your children’s online experience and their autonomy when developmentally appropriate, as they demonstrate competence in safe and secure online behavior and good decision making.
- Protect your hardware. Safety and security start with protecting all family computers. Install a security suite (antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall) that is set to update automatically. Keep your operating system, Web browser, and other software current as well, and back up computer files on a regular basis.
- Know the protection features of the Web sites and software your children use. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may have tools to help you manage young children’s online experience (e.g., selecting approved Web sites, monitoring the amount of time they spend online, or limiting the people who can contact them) and may have other security features, such as pop-up blockers. Third-party tools are also available. But remember that your home isn't the only place they can go online.
- Review the privacy settings of social networking sites, cell phones, and other social tools your children use. Decide together which settings provide the appropriate amount of protection for each child.
- Teach critical thinking. Help your children identify safe, credible Web sites and other digital content, and be cautious about clicking on, downloading, posting, and uploading content.
- Explain the implications. Help your children understand the public nature of the Internet and its risks as well as its benefits. Be sure they know that any digital info they share, such as emails, photos, or videos, can easily be copied and pasted elsewhere, and is almost impossible to take back. Things that could damage their reputation, friendships, or future prospects should not be shared electronically.
- Help them be good digital citizens. Remind your children to be good “digital friends” by respecting personal information of friends and family and not sharing anything about others that is potentially embarrassing or hurtful.
- Just saying “no” rarely works. Teach your children how to interact safely with people they "meet" online. Though it's preferable they make no in-person contact with online-only acquaintances, young people may not always follow this rule. So talk about maximizing safe conditions: meeting only in well-lit public places, always taking at least one friend, and telling a trusted adult about any plans they make – including the time, place, and acquaintance’s contact information (at least a name and cell phone number). Remind them to limit sharing personal information with new friends.
- Empower your children to handle problems, such as bullying, unwanted contact, or hurtful comments. Work with them on strategies for when problems arise, such as talking to a trusted adult, not retaliating, calmly talking with the person, blocking the person, or filing a complaint. Agree on steps to take if the strategy fails.
- Encourage your children to be “digital leaders.” Help ensure they master the safety and security techniques of all technology they use. Support their positive and safe engagement in online communities. Encourage them to help others accomplish their goals. Urge them to help if friends are making poor choices or being harmed.
Thanks again to StaySafeOnline.org for the tips!
The Federal Trade Commission has released this handy list detailing a few things that you can do to help ensure that you don't become the victim of internationl fraud on the Internet. It's a very handy resource and a good read for anyone wishing to know more about the subject.
Children present unique security risks when they use a computer — not only do you have to keep them safe, but you have to protect their data on your computer. By taking some simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the threats.
Keep your computer in a central and open location in your home and be aware of other computers your child may be using. Discuss and set guidelines/rules for use with your children. Post these rules by the computer as a reminder.
- Use the Internet with your children. Familiarize yourself with your children's online activities and maintain a dialogue with your child about what applications they are using.
- Implement parental control tools that are provided by some ISPs and available for purchase as separate software packages. Remember - No program is a substitute for parental supervision. Also, you may be able to set some parental controls within your browser. Internet Explorer allows you to restrict or allow certain web sites to be viewed on your computer, and you can protect these settings with a password. To find those options, click Tools on your menu bar, select Internet Options, choose the Content tab, and click the Enable button under Content Advisor.
- Consider software that allows you to monitor your children's email and web traffic.
- Consider partitioning your computer into separate accounts - Most operating systems (including Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux) give you the option of creating a different user account for each user. If you're worried that your child may accidentally access, modify, and/or delete your files, you can give him/her a separate account and decrease the amount of access and number of privileges he/she has.
- Know who your children's online friends are and supervise their chat areas.
- Teach your children never to give out personal information to people they meet online such as in chat rooms or bulletin boards.
- Know who to contact if you believe your child is in danger. Visit www.getnetwise.org for detailed information. If you know of a child in immediate risk or danger, call law enforcement immediately. Please report instances of online child exploitation to the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children's Cyber Tipline. Even though children may have better technical skills, don't be intimidated by their knowledge. Children still need advice, guidance, and protection. Keep the lines of communication open and let your child know that you can be approached with any questions they may have about behaviors or problems encountered on the computer.
Thanks to StaySafeOnline.org for these tips!