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Tips for keeping you and your family secure online on Safer Internet Day


Today is Safer Internet Day and new research from NortonLifeLock has revealed Australian parents are struggling with cyber safety and raising their children in a rapidly-changing digital world.

Google has also marked Safer Internet Day as the ideal time to take an online health check-up to find any weaknesses and beef up your security.

The NortonLifeLock findings have revealed parents fears about cyber bullying with 74 per cent worried their kids will face online abuse, 71 per cent fear their children will find themselves in dangerous online situations with 57 per cent agreeing technology doesn’t encourage positive behaviour.

“Responsible internet use starts at home, and parents have an opportunity to teach their kids how to be wary and smart around online dangers,” says Mark Gorrie, Director, Consumer Business – ANZ, Norton by Symantec.

“At Norton, our goal is to help Aussie parents remove fear from the online world by taking back control. That’s why we’re so supportive of Safer Internet Day and proudly advocate for Australian families to be smart, safe, and secure online.”

Norton is seen as an industry leader when it comes to internet safety.

Here are NortonLifeLock’s top tips for parents:

– Educate your child about online safety.

Don’t just tell them to be careful, show them why they should be cautious online. One of the best ways to approach this is to regularly do something with your child online that they enjoy.

Focus on screen time quality.

Often, we think of healthy technology use in terms of time, but quality screen time is just as important. Thirty minutes spent creating artwork on screen could be more valuable than thirty minutes spent playing a video game.

Protection against cybercriminals via the latest software updates.

Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new threats, so you need to be conscientious about ensuring all your operating systems and apps are up to date with the latest versions and patches to help address any security vulnerabilities that could expose you to a cyberattack.

Teach your kids about phishing.
You may be savvy enough to know not to click on a suspicious link that’s supposedly from your bank or a friend, but does everyone in your household? Tell your kids about phishing and warn them not to click on URLs from an email or social network message.

Use a password management system.
Passwords are the primary defence against hackers for most people and it’s no secret that it’s often a flimsy one. Bolster your defence with a password management program, like Norton Password Manager.

Keep social networks more secure.
There’s a good chance that at least one person in your house is on a social network. Unfortunately, social networks have become a draw for cybercriminals. If a friend posts something or sends you a message or link that seems out of character or too good to be true, then be wary. Your friend’s account may have been hacked.

– Identify and avoid potential Wi-Fi threats. 
Wi-Fi networks are another possible entry point for hackers. At home, make sure your Wi-Fi network has a hard-to-crack password that you change regularly. Also stress the importance of avoiding public Wi-Fi networks to your kids or utilise a virtual private network (VPN) to help protect your privacy when using Wi-Fi on the go.

– Don’t forget mobile devices.
Your phone and tablet need as much security protection as your PC. Make sure you’ve got a full security solution that covers your mobile devices as well.

Ensure your cyber security software is installed on all devices and is up to date.

Protect all your digital devices with comprehensive security software like Norton Security Premium. It’s a single solution that helps protect multiple devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets.

Google’s online health checklist can help you improve your security.

Here are Google’s five tips for Safer Internet Day:

Update your privacy settings.

When was the last time you reviewed your privacy settings? If you can’t remember then it’s probably time to take Google’s Privacy Checkup. Take control of your web activity, YouTube history, ad settings and voice/audio recording data, so you can take control of what data is shared.

– Out with the old, in with the new.

Holding on to your old password can seriously jeopardise your online security. Google’s ‘Password Manager’ allows you to update and strengthen existing passwords as well as saving new ones.

Two simple steps.

Just having a strong password is no longer enough. Setting-up 2-Step Verification protects your account with your password and your phone to keep your account safe. You can set up 2-Step Verification by heading over to the ‘Security’ tab in your Google Account.

Keep your kids safe.

Turning on ‘Safe Search’ and using the Family Link app are great ways to help keep track of your child’s activity online and set digital ground rules to help guide them as they learn, play and explore.

Set up a recovery phone number or email address, and keep it updated.

For many services, your Google Account included, having a recovery method can help alert you if there’s suspicious activity on your account or if you need to block someone from using your account without permission. To set this up, visit your Google Account’s Security section and scroll down to “Ways we can verify it’s you.”