Protect your children on the internet this holiday

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PHOTO: FILE

With the winter school holidays around the corner, teens are likely to spend more time indoors surfing the web rather than spending time outdoors.

In light of Internet Safety Month, Statista reports that people aged between 16-60 years spend an average of 147 minutes on social media platforms per day. That is an average of more than 17 hours per week.

How do parents then ensure the safety of their teenagers on the web, while giving them the freedom to connect with their peers through social media?

Dan Thornton, CEO of a cyber-security awareness training platform GoldPhish, has compiled a few tips to help parents protect the online identity of their little ones during the holiday season.

Choose friends wisely

  • Be extremely selective about who you allow into your network of friends on any social site. Before you accept a new friend, question how this person found you in the first place.
  • Take the time to look over the profile and verify that the account is a real person.

Don’t overshare

  • The more information you add to your social network profile – personal details like where you work, your phone number, and your date of birth – the more at risk you are of identity theft.

Protect your reputation

Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see. Any post on any social app can live for an eternity and be shared with anyone — regardless of privacy settings and regardless of whether the post was deleted.

Use Privacy settings

Set your social media privacy settings high, to ensure that only your real friends are able to see your photos and updates. By making your social media profile private you can:

  • Hide your profile from people you are not connected to.

Two-Factor Authentication

Always protect your social media accounts with strong, unique passwords, as well as enabling two-factor authentication. Cyber criminals with access to your social media accounts will cause you huge embarrassment and potentially financial loss.

Stay Alert for Scams

Be aware that a friend’s account can be hijacked and that this technique is often used as a scam in which someone posing as your friend asks for money.

Compiled by Gypseenia Lion

Gypseenia@mahareng.co.za