Tag Archive for 'Internet Tips'

Internet Safety Tips

This information is useful to anyone who is new to the internet as well as parents who’s children are now online.

General Internet Safety Tips

  • Rule number 1: Don’t download free software. There is a reason why it is free. Open source software is an exception to the rule because it is free for the communal good of the project. Many Windows programs can be found by simply searching for “free whatever program”, ie a search for “free pdf creator program” returns eight million results many of which are out there waiting to cause harm to your computer. So stay away from free software. Instead, find a trustworthy computer geek like me, and ask them for a recommendation
  • Rule number 1: Don’t download and run email attachments from people you don’t know, especially if you are not expecting it in the mail. There are a multitude of email viruses that can cripple your computer, and send you off to the fix it shop. Play it safe and use an anti-virus program. I can personally recommend this free version of AVG. They try to up sell you on the paid version, but just go ahead and skip the pro version and run the basic. [AVG Free] (I know these are both rule number 1, but they kinda go together.)
  • Internet Firewall – Do you lock the front door of your home at night? Internet prowlers are active 24-7. An internet firewall locks the open doors of your computer, to keep unwanted guests out. The firewall inside of WindowsXP works fairly well, and is better then nothing so at least turn that on. I recommend a hardware router with a firewall. There are several vendors out their with products in the $60 – $80 range. This device will also allow you to share your internet connection with multiple computer is your home. Additionally, a router with a wireless access point will give you the ability to connect via a wireless expansion device. When installing the router, please make sure to disable the wireless if you do not plan on using it, or turn on the wireless encryption. Most routers come with the wireless wide open, leaving a door open within range of the radio transmitter.
  • Are you feeling safer yet? Well you should! Now you are feeling comfortable and bullet proof while surfing the net — easy there fella! Be careful before entering your personal information on any random site that asks for it. If you re interested in making an online purchase or financial transaction, be on the lookout for suspicious sites. Here is what I like to tell people: If you are not sure how to tell if a site is safe… then don’t do it. Reputable sites, especially ones that have traditional retail stores typically run a legitimate online store. If it is an online only business, see if they list a phone number and call it – see if someone answers. Do a search for their company name in a popular search engine and see if other people online are posting negative experiences with the site. Once you are comfortable with a site and ready to enter your information in, make sure the address says https rather then http. The “s” makes the connection encrypted as long as the lock icon is not broken. If you are not sure how to determine this, have a friend show you. It is a simple thing that can prevent issues. And lastly make sure to use a regular credit card as apposed to a check card. It is no fun having money automatically removed from your bank account without your permission!
  • Additional Safety Tips for Parents

  • Be involved in your child’s internet usage. I can speak from experience, that when not watched kids will attempt to get pornography, illegal music and software, or meet the wrong person online while your not supervising. Kids need to be monitored.
  • Limit the amount of time your child is allowed to use the internet. Don’t let them stay up all night online (refer to the previous tip)
  • Until you trust your son or daughter, I recommend not allowing the child to have their own computer in their private bedroom – see the first parent tip. Keep the computer in a place in the house where you can walk past and casually peek at what they are doing.
  • Feel free to ask your child what they do “online” as if it were a tangible place. Just like asking what they did at school today, what did they do online today. There are many different sites, be sure to check it out after they tell you about so you can speak about it in future conversations.
  • Offer to help find fun sites for your child to visit. Consult your favorite search engine, and enjoy the surf time together!
  • I hope you find these internet safety tips helpful. Please drop a comment and let me know.