Online Security at Home

ICT Services Secure IT Online Security at Home

It is natural to be concerned about the well-being of children using the internet. In addition to ensuring they follow the good advice covered here - kids need to be aware of the dangers, talk to them about these issues and encourage them to be alert.

Good Practice:

  • Make sure you know what sites your children are visiting online.

  • Ensure that children get your approval before downloading software or apps.

  • Educate your kids not to provide ANY personal information to people they meet online - not even their name.

  • Monitor your kid’s online interactions - the people they are talking to may not be who they claim to be.

  • Consider installing parental lock software, or better still consider placing the computer in a shared space (such as the living room).

The Queensland Police, amongst others, have useful information regarding risks posed to children over the internet. Kids are often naive when it comes to computer use - behaviour that would trigger 'stranger danger' in person, may not get the same reaction from your child when online.

Make sure you children know, never to provide personal information (and especially not photos) to anyone, unless you (the parent) have met and verified the identity of the person face to face.

Security on Social Networking Sites

The popularity of social networking sites continues to increase, especially among teenagers and young adults. The nature of these sites introduces additional risks, so you should take precautions.

DO

  • Check your security settings for you profile and ensure only the information you want to be released is made public.

  • Only log into the website or service by typing the address into your browser.

DON’T

  • Use your social media account details to log onto a 3rd party website or App. Create a separate account on that website with a unique password.

  • Post information you don’t want to be in the public domain, you don’t know when the service might change its terms and conditions and make your information public.

Wireless Security

Wireless internet access poses a number of risks, the most concerning of these is others using your access without permission. Additional risks include: theft of internet bandwidth (you probably pay for access); contamination of your computer by someone using your wireless without your authorisation and theft of private information.

Perhaps the scariest potential risk with unauthorised access to your wireless network, is what someone could do with that access. They could be involved with child exploitation, illegal software downloads or computer hacking. When the authorities track this activity, it will trace back to YOU (your wireless access point) - this could make for an interesting discussion with authorities.

On your computer make sure you always turn your wireless adapter off when not in use. On your access point, enable encryption, WEP is weak (but better than nothing) and WPA2 is stronger. Allow only a certain set of MAC addresses to connect to the router and don't broadcast your SSID.

More Links:

Staying Safe on Social Network Sites
Sophos: Facebook Security Best Practices