Just to be certain that people do understand what can be done, and what ”should be done” in regards to secure your family in regards to access to the internet. Several of you parents (from my kids school) have reached out to me, to ask what they can do to secure and log “improper communication” on behalf of their kids. This situation already do provide me with a very unpleasant “vibe” since it should not be necessary to “log our kids” nor should we need to explain what and how to behave in school (or online).
All types of security for home (kids and adults) start with education. Do your kids decide what software to install on their devices, do they have only know people in their “friend list” and do they know what is prudent to share on the internet.
I have taken some time to speak and educate my family around the challenges on the internet. What are you supposed to do on the net, what is proper behaviour, what can insult people. What kinds of links or emails can they click on, what is safe, and what would never happen in real world.
Example; if someone send you a message to click here to sign up for free “IPad, IPhone, Candy, or other physical presents, then it may not be the truth”. A bank, nor a company would (should) never ask for personal information, unless it has already been agreed upon, no person should deliver their personal address, phone number or information about their school, home or parents.
I take the time to speak to the kids about their experiences on the Internet. It is not all about “what negative things” but I also share sites, educational information, Ted talks and other stuff, as well as mix it with information of what happens in the world (of tech) that relates to a child’s behaviour and need for knowledge in day to day actions. We also discuss what we experience in school, job … Basically, a healthy dialogue with the discussion point about Internet.
Question for parents; Do you know how many sites your child have accounts for (Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, Games and/or others). Do you know what kind of information your child has handed over there, and if there is a social element – do you know how many “friends they have” and what they share of information and content.
- Active Protection
Always use your vendors protection services, here I am talking about the security available in all systems and solutions we get now a day’s. The absolute best system available (IMHO) is based on the Windows Software (Microsoft Family Services) that can protect, windows computers, tablets and phones from one interface (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/family-safety) and this is the reason why I have provided my children with the devices they want, since it does provide me with the comfort of my mind. ¨
For those who are in the “I-sheep World” there are many setting that you can perform to secure your device; some content can be found here: http://ipod.about.com/od/KidsiPhoneiPodTouch/tp/Nine-Things-Before-Giving-Kids-Ipod-Touch-Iphone.htm – basically, if you haven’t assisted or verified the settings – you are not doing the needed actions (as a parent). Do recall, these kids (sneaky b@st@rds) are able to run around corners with the parents, so verify, validate and revisit after a month or two. The same thing can be applied to Androids.
- No rouge devices
Internet access is a privilege, which are granted to the kids. Wi-Fi password is given to the kids [Or entered on the device on their behalf] and can be revoked by changing the code on your routers. It is NOT a life threating situation to leave the kids without a Wi-Fi Password. Who knows, they might even go outside and play ball if no access are available.
- Active protection for home
Your home Router (Wifi Access point) is the first place of protection. As a parent, we should never rely on the Internet Provider, to secure and provide a relevant access to website and information, It is very simple to setup basic protection – as an example I suggest using https://connectsafe.norton.com/configureRouter.html
Active Protection can be added by a commercial solution; I used to work for Symantec, and recommend the Norton Suite of products: http://se.norton.com/ – and the purchase can be done in any retail store – and is a very good start for many people. Do recall to log into the portal, register relevant devices, and provide an active choice of settings, It is you who should define the settings and rules.
In my home setup, I have a special home router (not the one provider by my Internet Provider). This is done since I wanted to control everything myself, and some provider (Bredbands-bolaget in Sweden) does not provide the level of security I want, so I went out and bought my own. There are many different devices you can get for the home, and I would suggest that you speak to Elgiganten/Siba for the best on in your price class.
Personal; For the parents who believe this is too much job – then I fail to understand priorities. You do not mind spending SEK 3-6K on a device / multiple devices for your children’s, but protection for SEK 800 is waste of your time/resources??