Advice for parents and carers

The Internet is a mind boggling web of computers that spans the world. Good and bad and everything in between is available. Children are natives of this digital world and more often than not are teaching us how to navigate it! Even so, there are things we can do to help protect their online experience and I thought it'd be useful to note a a few tips that I hope will help you to secure your computers against attack.

For PC users.

The most contemporary Operating System for the PC from Microsoft is Windows 10. Windows 7 and 10 both come with built in software to help protect against virus infections and other Malware. It’s a good idea to buy 3rd party software and keep this updated, there are too many to mention in this document but your local PC shop will be able to help. Also, if Windows itself is not updated through Microsoft update, then it could cause big problems. Software patches from the update centre are very important in keeping your system safe and sound.

Monitoring and Internet filtering can also be useful. Products like Net Nanny and Cyber Patrol offer greater control and protection than the native Windows offerings in my opinion and are well worth checking out.

For Apple users

Apple’s operating software is generally thought of as more secure than Windows. My view is that if it’s online, it’s vulnerable. Apple machines can still be attacked like any other computer. More and more attacks happen via the Applications themselves: Skype, MSN, Facebook, PSN. One useful Application for Mobile Apple devices is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobicip which can help protect your children from inappropriate content.

Conclusion

If your child is using a machine that is connected to the Internet then it’s a good idea if monitoring software is installed on the computer, particularly if the computer is out of view. Internet based criminals are using more and more sophisticated methods to engage children and as parents we should know who they are talking to online.

One reliable way to filter all traffic in your household is to use Open DNS services. This involves editing the settings in your home Internet Router (BT Box, Virgin Box etc) and will enable you to prevent unwanted sites and services on any device connected in your home. It’s moderately easy to set up – all details can be found here:

https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/#parental-controls