Today is Safer Internet Day! This annual event is organised by the UK Safer Internet Centre as a means of promoting online safety for children and young people; the slogan for this year is 'Let's create a better internet together', and we at Designer Websites want to do our bit!
Here, then, are a few simple online security tips that will help your kids (and indeed you yourself) to stay safe and secure while you surf the web:
- Create a strong, unique password. When helping your children to set up online accounts of any kind, encourage them to think carefully before selecting a password. Avoid obvious sequences like abc123, qwerty and 1234567 and popular phrases like batman, football or dragon. Oh, and NEVER use your own name as a password!
- Use different passwords for different accounts. Once you've thought of a good password, it can be tempting to use that same password for every account you set up. This is a big mistake; using the same password for everything means that, if somebody breaks into one account, they can easily gain access to all of the others. Try to think of a different password every time.
- NEVER share or publish your login details online. You never know who might see them!
- Parents: research adult content filters. If you want to make sure that your children don't view any adult content while they use the internet, there are a number of plug-ins that can help you. Adult Blocker is a highly-rated plug-in for Google Chrome, and FoxFilter is the #1 parental control for FireFox. Internet Explorer, meanwhile, has built-in parental controls; just click on the cog in the top-right corner of any IE window, then select Internet Options > Content > Family Safety to set parental guidelines for your children's internet use.
- Parents: use the sites your children use. One last tip for parents (and teachers, too) - get to know the sites your children are using. For example, if they have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, set up a profile of your own and learn how to use it; this will ensure that you understand what your children are doing online, and help you to advise them when it comes to privacy settings.