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Resources for Families

By teaching children about internet safety, being aware of their online habits, and guiding them to appropriate sites, parents can make sure that children become safe and responsible Internet users. Help your children become good digital citizens with these tips for privacy and security on the World Wide Web.

1. Be Web Wise

Remember the Internet is a public resource. It can be an easy way for people to misrepresent themselves or their motives. Don't believe everything that you read online. Verify the authenticity of information before taking any action.

2. Keep a Clean Machine

  • Keep security software current.
  • Automate software updates.
  • Always use a firewall.
  • Disconnect from the Internet when idle.
  • Use a pop-up blocker.
  • Back up your data regularly.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the internet. This includes computers, smart phones, and gaming systems.
  • Scan USB and other external devices for viruses and malware.
  • Wipe your hard drive before you dispose of an old computer.

3. Connect with Care

  • Encrypt your Wi-Fi connection.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Links in emails, tweets, posts and advertisements are often used as means to compromise your device. Best to delete or mark as junk if something looks suspicious.
  • Check to be sure sites are security-enabled when banking and shopping. Look for web addresses with 'https://' or 'shttp://'. 'http://' is not secure.

4. Conduct Safe Internet Transactions

  • Secure your accounts. Many providers offer additional verification beyond passwords, use them.
  • Make passwords long and strong (see next section).
  • Use separate passwords for every account.
  • Own your online presence. Set privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level of information sharing.

5. Choose Strong and Varied Passwords

  • Create a password using a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols.
  • Use one password for your computer login and different passwords for websites.
  • Give your password and credit-card number only while on a secure connection on a website.
  • Change your password periodically.
  • Use different passwords for different websites.

  • Use your address, birth date, phone number, common words, or pet's name.
  • Share your passwords.
  • Write down any passwords near your computer or where someone can easily access them.
  • Carry your passwords in your purse or wallet.
  • Give your password or credit card number via email.

6. BE Aware when using Social networks

  • Be mindful of bullying, predators, and privacy issues.
  • Only accept 'friends' you already know.
  • Avoid giving out private information.

7. SET Parental Controls

Parental controls are available on most Internet-enabled devices. Read more about the different kinds of filters and tools available. OR find links to additional information about protecting kids online.

8. Protect Your Mobile Devices

  • Use a strong passcode to lock your phone.
  • Review privacy policies and understand what data applications can access before you download.
  • Only give your number to people you know and trust.
  • Disable geotagging.

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