NortonLifeLock's 3 Tips To Help Keep Your Family Cyber Safe This Summer
Easy ways to help protect your kids and family during summer break
By Paige Hanson | Chief of Cyber Safety Education
Summer poses different online safety risks for families. The kids are typically home more, on their devices more, and spend more time unsupervised now that they are out of school. With that in mind, I have three easy tips to help your family prepare to have a Cyber Safe summer break.
1. Limit Geotagging – Geotagging can be a way to give a sea of strangers your exact location via social media. With a simple Instagram photo, your child could accidentally let every one of their followers know that you are on vacation, or that your home is unoccupied. According to an International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) technical report, researchers were able to find the addresses of homes simply by searching the embedded geo-location data on YouTube videos. This can leave your family vulnerable to “cybercasing” and other problems. Not sure how to turn off geotagging? Watch this video tutorial.
2. Use Parental Controls – It’s so important to know what your child is doing on the internet and to limit access to inappropriate content. With parental controls, you have a host of options that do the legwork for you, allowing you to take a step back while knowing that your kids aren’t going to be exposed to anything you deem unsafe. With a product like Norton Family, you can view your child’s search terms and watched videos, set screen time limits, set parameters of age-appropriate content, and more. Parental controls allow kids to explore the internet more safely and help create healthy tech habits that will continue to serve them as they grow up, while providing parents with peace of mind.
3. Keep Online Gaming Safe – A break from school can come with an increase in the time your kids spend playing video games. Most of these games are now online, with chat and voice features that knock down the barriers between total strangers all over the world. This can mean a lot of information and conversations that parents cannot fully control. The first thing you can do is to check the game’s content and security features. Games have ratings similar to movies, and these ratings can help you find the right game for your child. The online versions also increasingly come with security features like the ability to mute communications, report players that are behaving inappropriately, lock in-game purchases, and limit how long or the types of games a child can play. Even with these new features, the most important thing you can do is talk to your child regularly about the game and their interactions. Make sure you are present when they play a new game for the first time and check in with questions about their experience. Is someone using language you don’t understand? Has anyone asked you to chat privately? Do any of your online friends ever ask for pictures of you or our home address? These simple questions can give you all the information you need to make an informed decision on how appropriate the game is for your child. For even more details on how to stay safer while gaming, read this Norton blog.
I also encourage you to have The Smart Talk with your kids. This free, interactive online resource helps families set healthy tech limits together and was recently updated. I wish you a relaxing summer and hope these three easy Cyber Safety tips help you protect your family’s digital lives.