Online safety is one aspect of IT security that has to be taken seriously by all members of the family. Children who are especially vulnerable to the threats associated with the online environment must be guided by parents and/or other responsible adults. Adults, on the other hand, have to exercise due diligence and common sense in their online dealings since they are not exempted from threats as well.
The first line of defense is keeping security software current to serve as protection against malware and viruses. Protection should also extend to other devices besides the computer that will be connected to the Internet such as Smartphones and gaming systems. Special attention should also be given to the protection features offered by the Internet service providers.
There are some basic guidelines to observe to ensure the family’s safety online. First and foremost is not giving out personal information including addresses and contact numbers. Information about the company where the parents are connected with and the school where the children go to as well as other related information should not be given out indiscriminately to people met over the Internet. This precaution is taken to avoid criminal elements from having a backgrounder that can allow them to form a realistic assessment of the daily and regular activities of a family and its individual members. Providing pictures to people met only online is also considered very risky.
Children should also be trained to tell their parents outright if something or someone is bothering them in the course of their online activities. Rude and obscene messages should not be responded to and instead be reported to the proper authorities when they persist. Lastly, respect should prevail even in the online environment so that respect in return can be reasonably expected