The Internet opens up worlds of information and new ways to interact with the world. It is a vast source of information and knowledge, but there are also many threats and things to be aware of when searching online. Setting some general rules and guidelines for your family’s use will help keep you and your children safe while using the Internet. Here are some guidelines that will help you decide what policies you should use. Just because something bad could happen online is not a good reason not to use it at all. Being prepared and aware of what is going on will help you stay safe while using the Internet.
By following some of these simple rules about how to search safely online you can help to protect yourself from those who might not have your best interest at heart. Searching safely online is not that difficult so long as you remember to keep safety at the front of your mind. Many mistakes are made when people let their guard down and forget to use caution.
Rules to follow for searching safely online
1.Use a firewall — A firewall is a safety feature on your computer that protects you against prying eyes. A firewall ensures that the conversations and information that you share on certain pages online cannot be seen by anyone else besides you and the operator of the page that you are visiting.
2.Careful of the language you use — Performing a safe online search involves carefully choosing the words that you use to prompt the search engine. You obviously do not want to be exposed to inappropriate content accidentally because your word choice is misconstrued as suggestive or otherwise inappropriate.
3.Don’t download anything unless you’ve checked it for viruses — Online thieves will often try to disarm your filtering and firewall securities by sending you viruses that are directed at weakening these safety features. As you are searching online, make sure that you do not download a program or open a message unless you are sure about its contents.
4.Teach your kids about Internet safety — Sometimes the most dangerous information is sent by and received by children. Make sure that you set guidelines for your children regarding Internet use. Encourage your children to come to you if they are unsure about what to do about any online situations that they encounter.
5.Be very careful what you tell people online — You can never be too careful about what information you give out online. Even the most innocent of facts can be used against you by skilled identity thieves and online predators. A good rule of thumb is to remain completely anonymous when online. Do not give anyone enough information to trace back to your true identity.
6.Offers that are too good to be true probably are — When performing online searches it is very common to receive promotional offers or messages saying that you have won some sort of prize. Many times predators use these types of tactics to get personal information form you or to get you to meet them in a private location. You should never agree to meet anyone that you do not know personally, nor should you send money or personal information anywhere because of an online request
Other tips and warnings
Searching safely online is just a part of what you and your family need to do to improve the chances of never having to deal with any kind of online predators. Chat room safety, using caution when making purchases online, and avoiding dangerous computer viruses are just a few examples of huge topics that really should be addressed in more detail. Learning about the things that you can do to protect your family is worth the investment of time that it may require.